November 2013

Six months old


So begins Benjamin’s interest in basketball.  This month we began a streak that will keep him from all but one of LB State men’s basketball home games this season.  

He loves the game!  Whether with me and Mama, Grandpa, or any other friends, Benjamin gets a huge kick out of watching guys dribble, pass, and shoot a ball in an organized fashion.  The band, the cheerleaders, and the excitement of the crowd helps to keep him interested, but I swear he is also purely interested in the game.  

Having turned another year older this month and celebrated Thanksgiving in the same week, I realize that I am truly thankful for my life.  My son and wife have made me so happy and I still cannot fully believe I am a father.  

This little guy continues to amaze me and make me smile in more ways than I ever imagined and I cannot wait to see what happens tomorrow.

Oct. 26, 2013

Five months old

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Benjamin loves water fountains! We went to Fashion Island today and took in all five of them and the koi pond. He enjoyed all of them, but loved the one which spouts from the outside to the inside of a circle the most. It was all I could do to keep him from throwing himself into the wet shallow pools. 

Benjamin was sitting up (leaning forward) in his stroller as we jaunted from one water spout to the next. He is becoming more keen to his environment all of the time and took breaks from being mesmerized by the pulsing liquid to watch other children around him and notice their reactions to the fountains. 

Even at home, this kid shows his growing love for water. If Anetka or I wash our hands while holding him, Ben gives a concerted effort to get at least one of his tiny hands underneath the flowing water. If he is near the sink and the water is not running, he will still reach out to the faucet, in an effort to get the clear wonder flowing. 

Just too much fun to be around this little guy!

Sep. 25, 2013

4 months old

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Benjamin has learned how to roll over, onto his stomach - closer to the inevitable crawling that will graduate him to a mobile toddler. It seems like each week he is working on a new activity to add to his list of already-impressive credentials. 

Ben is also starting to grab things - glasses half-full of water, books - with enough raw strength that his hands need particularly attentive eyes on them at all times. (Luckily, nothing has shattered onto the floor yet.) he has the perfect hook-grab from above that he has essentially perfected. Hand-eye coordination is surely coming along.

The kitchen is turning into a dangerous place now, with all the grabbing, not to mention two very active legs. The other day when I was putting something in the microwave and holding Benjamin, he kicked the oven knob. After kicking it, he became interested in it and kept trying to see what he could make happen. I've since kept him away from there, as his eyes are drawn to those dials and his feet begin to get happy. 

We love this little boy so much and enjoy all the new little things he shows us. Can't wait to see what is next in store.

Sep. 9, 2013

Three and a half months old

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Over the weekend, I went away on a business trip to San Francisco. It's worth mentioning that the trip also revolved around the first day of the America's Cup finals - racing that is now done by catamarans on hydrofoils that only need two small points in the water at times. The business went well and the races were amazing - even though the American team (Oracle) is down to the Kiwi team (Emirates) by a score of 3-1 - but I still enjoyed the present I received when I returned to southern CA more than anything else. 

As Anette was working Saturday night and I was out of town, my parents happily took care of Benjamin overnight. When I returned Sunday afternoon, I drove to their house to pick my little boy up and take him home. When I arrived at his grandparents' house, my mom was holding Ben outside, waiting for me. As I walked up to them, he initially regarded me with a quizzical look, quickly replaced by a sense of knowing, a small smile that grew large as I spoke and drew nearer, and ultimately his baby face buried in his hands as he does when he gets excited. I knew I was welcomed home. 

Benjamin slept soundly in his car seat the entire ride home and greeted his mother with an even larger smile as he woke in my arms to her voice and sweet kisses. He proceeded to coo and babble about his sleepover with his grandparents (I imagine, at least) as we listened intently and prodded him to tell us more. The family was whole once more.

I will have to make short business trips away from home sometimes, but am thankful for the love and support that we get from our family to make that possible. It also makes it easier to be away when I know that I have that brilliant initial smile of recognition when I come home to the little boy who lights up my life.

June 4, 2013

Two weeks old

Oh, Benjamin. You seem to be learning more all of the time, as your eyes take in the ceiling, walls, our happy stares and your arms reach for the sky. Those deep blue eyes seem to yearn greatly for understanding that everyone around you is working to provide. You only need to keep reaching, questioning, and trusting in us as you grow. We will be there for you.  


See how strong Ben is? He is officially heavier than he was at birth and eats enough to double his weight in months. Benjamin's initial doctor appointment went well and he has already been cleared for “belly time” – several supervised minutes each day spent lying on his stomach and building his arm, leg, and neck muscles. 

Benjamin is doing well and making us all proud. We know that he will keep learning and growing. We are so excited to watch him closely and see our little man grow. 

May 29, 2013

Nine days old

The past several days have been very busy, emotional, exciting, and tiring. I went back to work on Tuesday and have caught myself daydreaming about Benjamin several times throughout the day. (I thank Anette for the photos and videos of him throughout the day.) I just want to be at home with Anette and the little guy. He smells so darn good and his skin is soft as a…well, you know. 

All the time spent with Benjamin is a learning experience for me and Anette. We have such a wonderful little baby boy who has a great temperament and is teaching us how to communicate better every day. Even if we don't quite know the difference between the cries of “Change me” and “Feed me,” we now know well enough to react quickly to check the one and try the other: often he wants both. If we are lucky, Ben gives his approval with wonderful silence or a little smile. And those smiles are starting to come more frequently. 


I just keep looking into the future, when I will teach him to swim, surf, find good Mexican food. I can't wait to take Ben camping up and down the coast or teach him how to ride a bike. I'm already planning our first fishing trip and first ball game. (And I guess I'm going to have to learn a great deal more Swedish and Polish, so I can join in all family conversations.) 

That future will take a while to evolve, as our current relationship amounts to him looking - somewhat quizzically and somewhat familiarly - at my face (apparently in black-and-white) and me changing his soiled diapers (17 times in one day is the record so far) before handing him to his mom for food. It will come. And I'm not worried about that. I'm enjoying every second of the time I'm spending with our perfect little baby boy. That's right: I'm completely relishing cleaning up poop from my son's little butt. I never thought that I would ever write those words and actually mean it. 

D-day! May 20, 2013


After waiting around in an empty room for twenty minutes, I got the call. Like a fighter called to the ring, I walked my adrenaline-filled self into the O.R., where my wife and about seven scrub-clad doctors were ready to welcome our son into the world. After a few minutes of reassuring my strong wife, Benjamin was raised into the air - a wonderful screaming baby boy. He was cleaned off and laid down on Anette's chest so that we could all immediately bond for ten or fifteen minutes: as mother, father, and son. 

When Anette was recovering from her surgery, I had the opportunity to follow Benjamin around as he was taken to his recovery room, bathed, and inoculated. Little Ben was a champ, only crying the few times that he was removed from warm clothes, showered with tepid water, or stuck with needles. When he first tried feeding, Ben latched on like a leach and did his duty to fill his stomach (and his diapers). We have been so blessed to have a son that has been - to this point - completely easy to deal with and a quick learner. 

Benjamin got to know all of his grandparents, many of his aunts and uncles, and a few friends today. We are looking forward to bringing him home to meet the puppies and get to know family and friends better. Thank you all, once again, for your love and support. Now that this whole "baby" thing has become completely real, I'm realizing what everyone is saying about how having a child makes you feel - mostly proud, cry-happy, and cloudy-eyed. And, dang...that skin is so soft and fragrant! 

12 Hours and Counting


Week 40 (D-Day Eve)

So, there are fewer than 12 hours for us as a non-parent, married couple.  Yesterday, my brilliant wife walked down an aisle on the campus at CSU Dominguez Hills, as she received her Bachelor's of Arts diploma in Psychology.  Tomorrow, she gives birth to our son, Benjamin.  What a week!  What a woman!  

I want to thank everyone in our families and all of our friends that have helped us along this path.  All of your love, advice, gifts, and support have helped us get this far and we are extremely appreciative for all of this support.  We probably could have done this alone, but the effort would have been much greater on our parts and we would probably be even more tired than we are this evening.  Thank you. 

We are very excited and a little bit nervous about this event that will be occurring tomorrow morning (and will likely change our lives a little bit).  Anetka and I are pretty sure that we will be great parents, but there is a certain sense of the unknown that is keeping us wondering about the future at this short time before our first child is born.  (I suppose the questioning of the abilities is a good thing that allows us to grow and continue to wise up throughout our lives.)  

I just wanted to make sure that all of you know how much you are appreciated and loved by me and Anetka (and pretty darn soon…Ben).  The next time we see all of you, we will be a family of one more and - from what I hear - a bit more exhausted.  We love you all; please send great thoughts our way tomorrow morning.  

Apr. 29, 2013

Week 37

So, it seems like we know how this whole thing is going to play out now. After today's appointment with the doctor, we know for sure that Anette will need to go through a cesarean section operation. Although Benjamin was in the proper head-down position a few weeks back, he has somersaulted back into a sitting position. 

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We are happy to have a plan now. Ben will be born on Monday morning, May 20 (as long as he doesn't try to push his way out first). We have gone over the birth plan with our doctor and feel very good about our decision moving forward. Apparently, Ben's head is quite large, much of his current weight at 6 lb. 10 oz., so this should be more comfortable for everyone. 

We are very excited to have a more definitive end to the first part of this adventure, as we welcome our baby boy into the world. We have a drawer full of his clothes for the first three months, cupboards full of diapers, have studied numerous YouTube videos on swaddling and changing diapers, and have put together much of his furniture that we will need immediately. As much as brand new parents can be ready, I believe we are. Bring it on!

Apr. 15, 2013

35 Weeks

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Anette and I visited the doctor today and confirmed something that we were concerned about - Ben is currently in a breech position. With all of his tumbling an antics, I was sure he had righted himself in preparation for birth. Nope. All of that kicking, elbowing, punching, and reaching under the ribcage did not net a result of a baby in the correct birth position. 

In two weeks, we will know whether we need to plan for another birth strategy. Until then, we will just enjoy life and move forward to Benjamin's due date. It has been a surreal experience and a very exciting time in our lives. Anette has been a trooper and has impressed me with how exceedingly strong she has been. I keep thinking that I will miss feeling Anette's belly poke me and the hollow thuds of a head turning beneath the skin. Gotta get it while it lasts. 

© Cox-Karaskiewicz 2013