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!