Monday, December 21, 2009

Thanks, Gran and Papa Don!

Last Friday night, for the first time since Ben was born, my hubby and I went on a date.  Woohoo!  And we went all out, too, which you sort of need to do when you haven't gone even a little out in three and a half months.

For the past two years, my grandparents (hi, Gran and Papa Don!) have sent us grandkids our Christmas money in advance, and we are supposed to have "show and tell" time when we're all together.  Daniel and I decided to use our Christmas money to go on the above-mentioned date.  And since we don't have any tangible evidence for show and tell (besides our slightly larger waistlines), I thought I would show some pictures here.

Unfortunately, that's the only one we remembered to take.  But as you can see, we got all fancied up.  What you can't see is that we went here:

That would be the Mona Lisa fondue restaurant in Manitou Springs.  Allow me to take this opportunity to say how kind my husband is for taking me there, as he is not such a fan of the institution of the fondue restaurant.  I, however, could happily live the rest of my life on nothing but cheese fondue and small bits of real food to dip in it.

Despite our lack of photographic evidence, we had a great time and ate lots of yummy food.  So, once again, THANK YOU to Gran and Papa Don for this treat!  Any Christmas gift that allows me to eat cheesecake dipped in melted chocolate gets two thumbs up from me :)

(If you were expecting to see Ben pictures in this update, don't miss the post below.)

You're never fully dressed without a...



Ben has become a rather proficient smiler, but those buggers are really hard to get on film!  I have to be sneaky with my attempts to catch them because as soon as he sees the camera, he stops smiling and just stares like this:


Monday, December 14, 2009


Baby Ben began his illustrious career as a child actor last week by portraying the most important person of all time.  That's right.  He played baby Jesus in our church's Christmas program.

Here he is at dress rehearsal (though the "dress" part was inaccurate, since it snowed that day, and the costume lady couldn't make it), his first taste of fame.  Look at him, handling it like a stud.

He trained very seriously for the demands of this role -- the wearing swaddling gear, the being held, the looking cute.  It's tough work being a miniature thespian.  There's the wardrobe process:

And handling all your adoring fans and co-stars: 

And trying to stay awake and fall asleep at the right times (he never quite mastered that one, since he slept though two of the four performances):

But what a way to celebrate your first Christmas!

"For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders.  And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace." -Isaiah 9:6


Friday, December 11, 2009

Which do you prefer?

Reindeer hat (purchased from the $1 bin at Target -- woot! woot!)?

Or pants hat (borrowed temporarily from the lower half of his body)?

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Operation Naptime

In honor of Ben's three-month birthday (!!!), I had planned on taking him to the pediatrician to have him weighed. However, it is currently eighteen degrees outside (with a "feels like" temperature of three degrees), and I just couldn't bring myself to take him out of the house. So instead, I am making him learn an important big-boy skill: napping.

We totally lucked out on the bedtime front and didn't really have to teach him how to sleep then. I'm not sure if I ever whined about it here, but for the first six weeks of Ben's little life, he had day and night confused. He would sleep alllll day long, and then at night, he would look roughly like this:
Giant blue eyes, open as wide as they could go, not even blinking (as a sidenote -- aren't his eyes beautiful?). And I felt like he was too young to understand "crying it out" until he fell asleep in his crib, so neither he nor I slept much during that period.

Then, suddenly , some switch got flipped in his little brain, and he magically understood that nighttime was for sleeping. Since then, I feed him at bedtime (usually around 9:30-10:30), put him to bed in whatever state he happens to be in (sometimes already sleeping, sometimes awake but sleepy), and he will sleep for the next several hours, probably wake up to eat, and then go right back to sleep until morning.

This is still kind of amazing to me because we never had to do the whole let him cry for longer periods of time each night until he figures it out thing. He just figured it out. Daniel and I got to witness this firsthand last week. We were at my in-laws' house for Thanksgiving, and Ben was sleeping in a pack-and-play in our room, and I watched him wiggle and look around quietly for about 10 minutes and then drift off to sleep. Glorious!

Naptime, however, was a different story last week. I'm pretty sure he only took about two decent naps all week, which is craaaazy for a kid who normally sleeps between every feeding. Before spending a week away from home, I thought he was a good napper, but now I know that's only because I always put him in his swing (the merits of which I have already enumerated here) to nap. So with another, much longer, trip ahead of us in a few weeks, I'm trying to teach Ben to sleep in places other than the swing.

Place-Other-Than-the-Swing #1: The Living Room Floor
I know. It seems kind of cruel, doesn't it? But there are a few legs of our Christmas travel that will not afford us access to a pack-and-play, so I want him to be able to sleep anywhere. Including on a blanket on the floor. I'm not sure why I put the pillows there. It just seemed like the thing to do at the time.

Here's a funnier view from the balcony above the living room:

He fussed for a minute but then decided he was too tired to mess with it. So he slept there for about 45 minutes. Not as long as I was hoping, but I'll take it for now. Good job, baby Ben! And happy birthday!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

More than you really wanted to know

We are currently having all new windows installed in our house. This is totally awesome since our old windows were terrible and made our heating bills outrargugeous.

Figuring out how to feed a breastfed baby when you're alone in a house full of strange men: not so awesome.

Monday, November 2, 2009


Today was Ben's two-month check-up, which means, among other things, that my baby is TWO MONTHS OLD! Reaching this milestone is the first time within parenthood that I've felt like time is flying. For me, pregnancy seemed to breeze by, so I was sure I would experience what every other mother tells you to expect -- that you blink and suddenly your baby is all grown up.

However, that was really not my experience at first. I think it was because Ben was so tiny. I would see older babies -- big babies! with skills! -- and think, We'll never get there. Ben will never be big and old and skilled like that. And in my defense, he really was small and fragile for a long time (and as far as the skill thing goes, the pediatrician assures me that his month-early arrival will probably mean he hits developmental milestones a month late). When he was nine days old, we took him to be weighed, and he was at his smallest: 5 pounds, 6 ounces. That's apparently the 4th percentile for nine-day-old babies.

Today was a different story, though. Today, my little runt of a boy weighed TEN POUNDS! He has graduated to the 70th percentile! And he gained three whole pounds in one month, which wouldn't have meant anything to me until I acquired a newborn and learned that they're supposed to gain about one-half to one ounce per day. Three pounds in a month means little Ben made up for lost time by gaining one and a half ounces a day! Go, baby Ben!

Three pounds in a month also means that I now believe he won't be small forever. And while this knowledge makes me feel so very proud of my boy and so very grateful that God has given him a healthy, growing body, it also makes me understand how precious and fleeting my time with him is. A full night of sleep sounds so good, but there are only so many more times I will get to snuggle this sweet baby in the quiet middle of the night. Some day soon, he will be too big for me to fumble through housework one-handed while I hold him with the other arm. And he will be much too big for me to kiss the top of his fuzzy head while I blog with him asleep on my chest. Two months are gone now, and we only get to do this five more times before he is suddenly a full year old. And I can only imagine how quickly the time goes when his life is measured in years.

Being a new mom is a pretty overwhelming job. Some days I get frustrated with myself because lunchtime rolls around and I realize that not only have I not showered, but I haven't even remembered to brush my teeth. It's easy for me to get annoyed that I am tethered to a baby by every-three-hour feedings and that some article of my clothing is constantly wet from one disgusting body fluid or another. But today, I am more thankful than ever that I get to rearrange my existence for Benjamin Eager Wiginton.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

I'm not getting paid to endorse these products,

but I would gladly accept free stuff from the companies that make them.

This Fisher Price cradle swing is the only reason anyone in my house has clean clothes to wear. I resisted buying this type of swing because it seemed like it would only be useful for a few months (at best), and I'm too cheap for that. However, I broke down last weekend, and I do not regret it one bit.

My sweet baby boy sleeps a lot during the day, but he really only likes to sleep on me. And while I love, love, LOVE having him sleep on me, it really prohibits me from doing things that are somewhat necessary - like showering. But NO LONGER! I bought this swing for $40 on Craigslist, and it has already been worth every single penny, plus a lot more pennies that I didn't have to spend on it. Ben is snuggled in there all cozy-like, and the swinging and white noise feature totally seal the deal. He sleeps, and I have two hands available to do useful things! Like type this blog!

An added bonus: I couldn't get him to sleep a couple of nights ago, so I put him in the swing and he was out within minutes. Beautiful. If you lived in my house a couple of weeks ago, you would realize how completely revolutionary this is.

And this fancy Baby K'tan baby carrier is my other buyer's remorse-free purchase from this week. It's waaay pricier than what I would normally buy, but another new-mom friend raved about hers, so I caved. And, again, I love it. I had a pouch sling that I liked fairly well, but this sucker is in a whole different league. It is super comfortable to wear, and I don't feel like Ben is going to fall out of it. Don't tell Baby K'tan because they specifically warn you not to do this, but I cooked dinner while wearing Ben in this thing last night. And I've taken a couple of walks while wearing him in it (which is totally kosher).

And since this post was so boring, here's a picture of my baby's cute little face under a cute little hat that his Nana made.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Quick thoughts

There are some things I knew I would love about having a baby. I could imagine how wonderful it would be to nap with a little one napping on my chest, for instance (and that feeling does not disappoint!). And while there are certainly some frustrating aspects of motherhood that I didn't really expect, there are also a million little things I didn't know would be so great. Today I am grateful for:

*my baby's milk breath. I know that's weird, but I think it is the sweetest smell!

*the way my baby looks when I unswaddle him to change his diaper in the middle of the night. It's like opening a little package of pure cuteness.

*the noise my baby makes when he thinks he's going to sneeze but it goes away. His whole body exhales - including his little high-pitched voice.

Friday, October 9, 2009

What's the point of having a baby...

if you can't balance things on his head while he falls asleep?

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Not much has happened since the last post.

Except that I had a baby. This one right here:Benjamin Eager Wiginton
born September 2, 2009 at 6:45pm
6 pounds, 1 ounce

Sometime soon, I will try to post the full dramatic story. The abbreviated version is that my water mysteriously broke, I didn't believe it was happening and went to work for a little while, and seven hours after I left work (including a whopping 30 minutes of labor and a surprise!-he's-breech C-section), I was holding my baby. Exactly one month before I expected to be doing that.

The sudden transition from Pregnant Lady to Mom was kind of surreal for me. And words cannot describe the incredible feeling of seeing your child for the first time. I'm getting all teary-eyed thinking about it right now. Absolutely amazing!

Here's a rare glimpse of the little guy with his pretty blue eyes open. He usually only does that around 3am (thanks, buddy!).

My dad joined in for the final installment of our author study of Eric Carle :) My parents are super wonderful. I called them around 3pm their time to say I was having a baby, and they were on a flight here by 5:30ish (did I get those times right, Mom or Dad? I'm estimating). They landed just a couple of hours after Ben was born and spent the next week and a half with us.

And just for kicks, here's one final "belly picture." :)

Monday, August 31, 2009

Ho, ho, ho!

This past weekend, Daniel and I were in a wedding for two lovely (former) members of our singles group at church. This was baby Ben's third time to be a bridesmaid -- always a bridesmaid, never a bride (please, Ben, never be a bride!).

Doesn't look too terrible here, but a full-body picture would reveal that Daniel wore house-shoes with his tux (thanks to a back-of-the-ankle injury that refuses to heal), and I bore an uncanny resemblance to a certain fictional Christmas character:

For some reason I also look like I don't have legs in that picture? Maybe it's the angle? This one captures the beauty of the dress/pregnant figure combo a little better:

Note how I don't so much look pregnant -- more just really huge. I think the white sash at the "natural waist" (please identify that part of my body right now) is really the icing on the cake. And here I am laughing/making my belly shake like a bowl full of jelly:

Ho, ho, ho! And finally, a proper belly shot (35 weeks, 1 day):

Here's to my final month of pregnancy, which will involve no more formalwear!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Nesting or neurosis? Tough to tell.

Several months ago, I made a month-by-month list of what I wanted to do to get our house ready for Benjamin's arrival. Basic stuff, like painting the nursery and reorganizing our closets so the one in nursery was actually available for baby paraphenalia. I did very well, thank you, at keeping pace with my list -- until sometime two weeks ago, when I suddenly couldn't stand the thought of having unfinished baby-preparedness projects and started working like a madwoman to finish the list a month ahead of schedule. I'm still not sure if I just haven't experienced much third-trimester fatigue or if my nesting instinct is a force my fatigue can't reckon with. Either way, the result is a nursery that is pretty much finished. Until I decide something else needs to be changed/rearranged and go on another psychotic frenzy.

What you see here involved:

-painting the nursery walls

-replacing the blinds

-recovering the lamp, after searching for all the necessary parts and eventually giving up and ghetto-rigging it (the harp is Duck-taped to the base, so I had to add fringe to cover that)

-purchasing absurd amounts of organization products from Target

-starting to make a cool quilt from scraps of fabrics used elsewhere in Ben's room (along with scraps I have from other projects), then cleverly folding said quilt so you can't tell in these pictures that it's not finished yet

-sewing the crib bedding (which really merits about 10 bullet points), with a LOT of help from a nice lady at church

-washing and organizing the billions of articles of clothing and blankets we have for this child (That open drawer? That would be his newborn to 3 month clothes only. I could probably get by with doing laundry about twice during his first months of post-womb life.)

-making some of the wall art you see here and just hanging the rest of it (Did you notice the Big Ben picture by the window? Get it??)

Okay, that's two pictureful posts in two days (by the way, you can click on any of the pictures to see more detail in them). Now get to commenting, people!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Hiking with my honey

Today was the perfect day for a hike -- beautiful, cloudless sky and nothing pressing on the agenda for my baby daddy or me. We've wanted to hike Mt. Cutler for several weeks because we were told it's a nice, easy hike with good views, and it did not disappoint. Central Arkansas dwellers, it's probably easier than hiking Pinnacle Mountain (I think the elevation gain might even be smaller). Though it was difficult enough to make my round shape move pretty slowly and fuss at Daniel for not being conservative enough with our water rations :)

The views weren't too shabby, either. There were several nice overlooks like the one above, along with a couple of places where you could see parts of the city (that would be Colorado Springs) and the over-priced tourist attraction Seven Falls.

Brings out my inner supermodel. That's totally a supermodel pose, right? I think I'll submit this one to the Visitors' Bureau for their promotional material.

We didn't take a picture of ourselves at the top because we were eager to move away from the two women pictured here, who were doing some sort of weird Buddhist-type chanting. It was also Happy Hour at Sonic, so we had to hurry along before we missed that. Any guesses what color Daniel's drink was?

Check back soon for pictures of the nursery -- it's dangerously close to being finished!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Look! A post that indicates brain activity! And a belly picture!

Since I have become visibly pregnant, I've started getting more fun comments and questions from strangers (including a lady at the Sonic drive-through window). Most of the time, I enjoy that because people tend to be generally excited about the idea of babies. So they just say nice, congratulatory things, and I get to feel happy all over again about my sweet little boy.

But impending parenthood also brings lots of annoying comments and advice. A baby bump makes you a target for all the wisdom/"wisdom" everyone else has gleaned from their years of child-rearing/knowing of the existence of children -- and unfortunately, these well-meaning/smug individuals are rarely helpful.

Lately, though, one particular breed of comment has been getting under my skin more than normal. Everyone is aware that children are different from adults, and children don't always do things that are convenient or logical. Sometimes, they even make their parents' lives more difficult. You're with me so far, I'm sure. And sometimes when situations like this occur in front of me, the lady with the protruding belly, wise adults feel the need to make comments like, "See what you have to look forward to?" And, "Are you sure you want one of these?"

I know they're just trying to be funny, and I'm well aware that I make lots of intending-to-be-funny awkward conversation myself, but these comments have really been bothering me. And it's not because I've tricked myself into thinking my children will be perfect. I know they will get on my nerves, too, and they will embarrass me in public and make my life more complicated.

But I also believe that God is sovereign over my family and that he is growing inside of me a human who is perfectly designed by a perfect Creator to be under my care. And I believe that baby Ben and any other children we have are exactly suited to who Daniel and I are, who God wants us to be, and how He wants to challenge and grow us. I have a lot of flaws (some of which are revealed by the tone of this post), and I am both thrilled and terrified to see how God uses parenthood to refine me. But I'm just thrilled to see how He uses parenthood to teach me about Himself.

So yes, well-intentioned advice-givers, I see what I have to look forward to. And yes, I am sure I want one of those.

Now your reward for reading all that. Behold the great belly (taken at 32 weeks, 1 day):

Sunday, June 28, 2009

26 weeks, 2 days

There's a two-pound baby in there, but he feels a lot heavier when he snuggles with my bladder.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

After work tonight...

I went to the gym (gold star!), and then I took a walk with my husband (gold star #2!)...

to Taco Bell.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

With apologies to my mother

I received a gently reproachful email from my mom this week telling me it was time to update the ol' blog, so I hope you will all forgive my extended absence. You've figured out how this works by now, though, right? Surely you don't really expect regular updates anymore? I just disappear for a while, then post a picture of something baby-related and pretend to be a blogger. See?

This is a picture from today - 25 weeks, 2 days. That means I'm just over 60% pregnant.

The last month of pregnancy has been really, really fun for me. Normally when I say things like that, I'm being sarcastic, but this time I'm serious -- I am LOVING this stage. Baby Ben is moving a lot more, which helps overcome that giant hurdle of his general invisibility. I guess I don't really know if it's all the movement or if it's some other maternal sense kicking in, but I've felt much more connected to the little guy in the past few weeks. It's still hard to believe he'll be here in just over three months, though.

Other happenings:
*I painted the nursery last Friday. I love the color, especially in natural light. I've been spending a lot more time in there lately because it feels much more like a nursery now, and I like to soak in the baby excitement of it.

*Our very dog-like cat has always been in love with Daniel, but he's started showing signs of interest in me this week. We think it's because my belly is now bigger than Daniel's, so the cat likes to cuddle up to it.

*I was in my hometown (yeah, North Little Rock!) two weekends in a row recently for two beautiful friends' weddings to wonderful men. On the second trip, we had two baby showers for Ben and me. Both were so sweet and fun, and I'm feeling much better prepared than I was (although, since I was flying, I had to leave a lot of the bigger things for my parents to drive out later).

*If you weren't paying close attention to that last bullet point, there were two trips halfway across the country, two weddings, and two baby showers (all in two weekends!) since I last posted. Does that make it easier to forgive my absence? No? How about two more pictures?

Wedding #1, my cousin and dear friend Whitney. The guy on the left is not the groom (though he will be someone else's groom next summer!). That's our friend Tim, who also happens to be American Idol winner Kris Allen's brother-in-law, a fact that scored us free cheese dip after this wedding.

Wedding #2, my not-cousin but dear friend Angela. This wedding was outside at a park on the Arkansas River, and it was beau.ti.ful.

*Daniel's brother and sister-in-law and their four kiddos are coming tonight to visit for about a week. If you pester me enough, I might post some pictures of their cuteness while they're here.

*And finally, happy Father's Day (even though I don't think any males read this blog)! Daniel got these gems in honor of his first sort-of Father's Day (the one on the right reads "Happy Reformation Day" below that lovely picture of Martin Luther):