Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Older Son, Newer Tricks

Daniel commented recently that when Ben goes to school, all his teachers will know that his mom used to be an English teacher.  I have no idea why he would say that:

He is really proud of how well he can hold up two fingers.  I honestly think he practices when he's by himself.

I know I owe the whole world pictures of baby Isaac.  Unfortunately, our camera's flash exploded or something, so I can only take decent pictures when there is plenty of light and my subjects are completely still.  That happens exactly never.  This is the most recent non-blurry picture we have of the little guy:

See how he's swaddled, indicating that he should be going to sleep, but instead he's making weird faces?  That pretty much sums up my life right now.  Except that he's smiling more and more.  Oh man, I love baby smiles.

And I'm posting one last picture just because I find it amusing.  We took the boys to the Denver Firefighters Museum on Monday.  Ben loved it and learned the important message seen here:
He now likes to pretend that various items in our house are on fire, and then he makes them stop, drop, and roll.  Hooray for fire safety and funny little boys!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Baby Isaac's Birth Story

When you have a scheduled C-section, this is how your birth story should go:

39 weeks, September 22, 4:45am
Daniel and I woke up very, very early on Thursday, September 22.  Per our instructions, we made it to the hospital at 5am (my parents arrived the day before to take care of Ben), and everything proceeded smoothly from there.  My surgery was scheduled for 7am, but they were ready for me a little early - so precious Isaac Miller Wiginton was born with zero complications by 7:07am.  He was 20-1/4 inches long and weighed 8 lbs, 7 oz.  Besides having the exact same hair, I don't think he looks much like newborn Ben.  Like Ben, though, he is ridiculously cute.

Maybe he looks so unlike Ben because he is WAY bigger?
My recovery went really smoothly.  I knew what to expect this time, and I was determined only to spend 48 hours (the minimum stay following a C-section) in the hospital.  I was also determined to look like Halfway Normal Mommy when Ben came to visit us, which probably helped me will myself to recover quickly.  By Friday night, I was feeling really good and expecting to go home the next day.  Then Isaac and I were discharged on Saturday morning, and we all lived happily ever after - hooray!

I love his fuzzy hair!  It might even be a little redder than Ben's was.
And that's exactly the way my story went... until that last sentence.  At 7:30 on Saturday morning, my OB came into my hospital room.  I thought it was just a routine check-in and that he was going to clear me to go home.  Nope.  Instead, he informed me that my blood counts were pretty frighteningly low (normal hemoglobin numbers are 12-16, and mine was 5.8) and that I needed to have another procedure to figure out why. 

I quickly fed Isaac, and within a few minutes, I was being wheeled back down to the operating room.  It's not safe to operate with hemoglobin levels under 10, so I had to have a blood transfusion before anything else could be done.  Then my doctor (who, by the way, was amazing and is my hero) made a few extra little cuts on my abdomen and checked out my innards laproscopically.  He was hoping to find a blood clot somewhere that he could just remove laproscopically.  No such luck.  What he actually found was about a liter of blood just hanging out inside me.  Apparently there were two tiny pin-prick holes in my organs that were slowly pumping blood where it ought not be.  So he had to re-open my C-section incision (gross, I know) and get rid of said blood and close said holes.

100% worth all the trouble :)

Before this second surgery, I didn't have much time to worry or even process what was going on.  After it was over, though, I realized I was starting the recovery process all over again.  I ended up leaving the hospital the next afternoon (Sunday), feeling okay... but by Sunday night, I was not having fun.  I learned that insane swelling is normal after a blood transfusion -- and I was so swollen Sunday night that I weighed 10 pounds more than I did at my most pregnant.  And all of the swelling was from the waist down, so you can imagine how comfortable that is.  "Cankles" doesn't even begin to capture it.  I lost 30 pounds in my first six days back at home - of just fluid.  Yikes.  All that digging around on my insides also gave me some crazy bruising all over my hips and legs, so I was pretty sure for a day or so that I was going to die.  And I had plenty of time to worry about it because - remember? - I was up multiple times a night with a newborn.  Those were good times.

I'm not usually very good at looking at the bright side of things, especially when I have actual reasons to be frustrated.  In this situation, though, God was so merciful and protected me from getting depressed about my physical state.  After one or two breakdowns early in the week, there were only a few moments here and there when I felt upset that this whole thing didn't go the way it was supposed to go.  

It has now been 13 days since Baby Isaac was born and 11 days since my second surgery, and I am feeling much, much better.  My parents stayed with us until Isaac was 10 days old and basically kept our household running during that time period (THANK YOU, Mom and Dad!).  I was scared to see what happened after they left.  So far, Daniel and I are surviving the difficult new territory of having two sweet boys (he's working from home this week, which is a huge help).  And we are so incredibly thankful these angels!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Little Linguist

As Ben gets closer to turning two (less than a month to go!  how did this happen??) and shows more of his big-kid personality, I can see some characteristics that I've passed on that I wish I had spared him:  he's not easy-going, he wants things the way he wants them, he has some irrational social anxieties.  However, I am not at all sad to see that I've passed on the Word Nerd gene.  My boy loves language.  I try to write down some of the funny things he says every day, but we really need to follow him around with a camera to document it fully.  But just to give you a little sample, here's another edition of Bragger's Corner with some of my recent favorites:

  • Yesterday, he was eating a snack in the car, and he made an important discovery.  He very excitedly told me out of nowhere, "Actually, those Teddy Grahams are BEARS!" (Not sure what he thought they were before?)
  • Roughly one thousand times every day, he points out that one word sounds like another word.  Last night, he told me fabric sounds like brakes (a stretch, but I'll give it to him).  This morning, Daniel jokingly told Ben that his coffee was tar.  Ben declared, "Sounds wike car!  And Target!  Sounds wike Target and car!"
  • When we read books, he turns the pages and asks, "What happens next?"  An English teacher's dream.
  • He is a tiny bit obsessed and knows the names of quite a few big machines/trucks.  Our neighbor Juan used a skid-steer loader a few days ago to do some work in his yard, and Ben is still beside himself about it.  He wants to walk down to Juan's house and look at where the skid-steer loader used to be.  Several times, the very first thing he's said when I go get him from his nap has to do with "Wand" and his "skid-steer woader."
  • For some reason, we were talking about street names while running errands recently.  I told him that we live on Slickrock Drive.  Without missing a beat, he said, "Slickrock Drive.  'Cause we're driving!"
  • The only thing he wants to watch on TV anymore is Wheel of Fortune (thanks to my friend Elizabeth for reminding me how much I love the wheel).  He will hand me or Daniel the remote and say, "Wheel of Fortune time!"  One time when the show ended, he demanded, "More Pat Sajaking!"  I'm not sure what he thinks is going on while he watches, but he always notices when the audience makes disappointed sounds and says, "Aww!  She wost all her money!"
  • I read him the following lame joke from a kids' yogurt cup:  Why did the rabbit wear a hat?  He was having a bad hare day.  That sort of humor is way over his head, but for some reason, he wanted me to repeat the joke multiple times anyway.  After several repetitions, I asked him to tell it to me instead.  He had to think for a minute, and then he offered this interpretation:  Why did he wear a hat?  'Cause he was having a bad time.  Close enough.
  • He has started composing compound sentences (like today's, "Daddy was at church, but he came back!") and occasionally some sentences with "if" clauses (like last week's explanation of an activity he made up, "If you stand on it, it spins around and around and around!").  My mouth basically hangs open all day because I can't believe how smart this child is.
  • In spite of being incredibly smart, he still has me and you totally switched.  So he might say "Mommy, pick you up" when he really means "Mommy, pick me up."  We've made some half-hearted attempts to straighten this one out, but I'm really not too worried about it.  It's kind of comforting that he doesn't understand everything just yet.  I probably only have three of four more years to enjoy being smarter than he is, so maybe I'll just let him figure this one out on his own.
I've said this about every age, but this one is the best yet.  Yesterday, I got a little misty-eyed because I suddenly realized that he is going to keep growing and changing, and this precious toddler stage will just be a memory.  I know that sounds melodramatic, but it's TRUE!  And sometimes it's pleasant to remember that this stage is fleeting because this stage also includes whining, tantrums, boundary-testing, and the never-ending growth of two-year molars.  Motherhood is tiring these days (and have I mentioned the baby brother who constantly plays pinball with my internal organs?), but it's so, SO much fun!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Stolen Photos

Daniel's brother and his family have been hanging out at our house for a few days on their way to their real vacation, and there has just been way too much cuteness not to share.  Five incredibly cute children in one place.  Prepare yourself.  My photo-happy sister-in-law let me steal the pictures off her SD card, so I'm going the extra mile and posting them online before she can.  Thanks for sharing, Steph!  And you're welcome for sharing, grandparents ;)  As always, you can click on any of the pictures to see a bigger version.

We dressed them alike for church and tried desperately to get a good picture of all of them.

L-R: Samuel, Asher, Ben, Katherine, Elizabeth
Clark with Ben and Asher
 We took them to my favorite playground and splashed in a fountain.
Katherine, age 5
Fountain at America the Beautiful Park
You know this cutie by now :)

We ate delicious grilled pizza and delicious ice cream cones.  And stole some delicious nuzzles and hugs.
Elizabeth, age 5, with her pizza creation
Asher, age 2
Daniel and Elizabeth, BFF's
Me with my favorite Ben Boy

We spent lots of time in the backyard since the inside of the house was 85 degrees.

We spent this morning having fun and getting all smelly at the zoo.

AND we even snuck out for a grown-up double date one night.
Dinner at the Garden of the Gods Trading Post - definitely recommend it!
Mini hike at Garden of the Gods
Thanks for a fun few days, other Wigintons!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

28 weeks down. Way too long to go.

Remember that last post, when I went on and on about how much I love summer?  I changed my mind last week when the temperature inside my house started reaching the mid-80's.  I now rely on the basement, the water-hose, and air-conditioned public places to stay alive.  

This is not my first summer to be pregnant.  In fact, my due date now is three days off from my due date with Ben, so this is basically the exact same pregnancy timeline I had before.  However, I do not remember feeling so incredibly hot last time.  Is this just me?  Or the fact that I have a toddler to chase?  Or is it legitimately hotter this summer?  Somebody help me out here.

Before I move on to the happy stuff, I'm going to add the following pregnancy complaints:  My wedding rings are officially off (after one scary night when I feared they would require surgical removal).  Certain things hurt more with the second pregnancy (you're welcome for sparing the details).  My daily heartburn onset has been moving earlier and earlier in the day.  Okay, I'll stop.  Because it's much more important to tell you this:


The gestating child formerly known as Baby Moses will henceforth be called ISAAC MILLER WIGINTON.  Isaac fit our criteria of being an Old Testament name that we liked, that isn't already in use by little boys close to us, and that doesn't have any really unfortunate associations in the Bible (though the whole laying-him-on-the-altar story is going to be much tougher for me to read from now on).  And Miller is my mom's maiden name, so it is a tribute to her side of the family.  I especially associate the name with my Grandpa Miller, who passed away when I was in 3rd grade but was pretty much everything you want your sons to grow up to be.  I so wish my children could know him this side of Heaven.

He looks like an Isaac, don't you think?  Today was our 3D ultrasound, so we were able to get a sneak peek at the little guy.  I think he looks a LOT like Ben, but maybe all babies look the same in ultrasound form?  What do I know?  Ben came with us, and he immediately pronounced Baby Isaac to be "cute."  The ultrasound tech gave him his very own picture to keep (he calls it his "Baby Isaac card").  He insisted on taking said picture into the grocery store with us, and within minutes he had applied a banana sticker to Isaac's face :)

I know this post is supposed to be about my other baby, but come on.  How cute is that child?

Everything looked good at today's check-up.  Assuming Baby Isaac has more patience than his brother and stays put until his due date, he will be delivered via C-section on September 22.  That gives me exactly 11 more weeks of Summertime pregnancy to go.  I can do this!!

And because my friend Angela will cease to be my friend if I don't post a belly picture, here you go:

Wednesday, June 22, 2011


I really did not enjoy Spring this year.  I was sicky pregnant, Ben was just plain sicky waaaay more than normal, and it was violently windy every day.  But it is officially Summer in every way:  the heater is off (yes, Southern friends, my heater runs for most of the year), the windows are open (no, Southern friends, I do not have air conditioning), my garden is struggling to produce veggies under my negligent care, and the grill is seeing a lot more action.  I love Summer in Colorado.

And so does Ben:

What's not to love about ice cream cones on the back deck?
And helping Daddy with yard work? (I'm willing to wager good money that his interest in lawnmowers disappears around the time he's old enough to use a real one.)
And falling asleep in the hiking backpack?
And $2 Mini Golf?

And running through the sprinkler in your diaper?

My little water baby especially loved that last activity.  He took a break at one point and requested that I take his picture.  However, he was too excited to be a good photo subject.  He would say "cheese!" for about 0.5 seconds, run away around the time the camera clicked, look at the picture I took, and declare that he wanted a "gooder one."  We made several attempts...

... before we ended up with one that I think is pretty gooder:

Happy Summer to you all!

Thursday, May 19, 2011


Part I:  Baby Moses
My big 20-week ultrasound was Monday morning, and we learned that Baby Moses is a BOY!  I realize the odds were roughly 50/50 that this baby would be male, but I was still shocked.  As in, I didn't know how to react, I asked the ultrasound tech to look again just to make sure, I still have trouble calling the baby "he."  I was just very convinced this one was a girl.  My intuition regarding pregnancy seems to be worthless.  

Daniel and I can't decide yet what we want this little guy's name to be.  We looked at a list of Old Testament names online the other night, and it was just comical.  We were trying to find some fresh options in all seriousness, but we ended up in fits of laughter multiple times.  You know how sometimes you're in situations at church where you have to read some weird biblical name out loud, and someone makes a joke about how you should name your kid that?  It was like that, except we're actually trying to figure out what to name our kid.  We still have plenty of time to decide, but I am a psycho and want this baby to have a name yesterday.

Baby Moses, if you read this someday, please know that my thinking you were a girl and failing to have a name ready for you is no indication of how I feel about you.  I love you just as much as I loved your older brother when he was "in my tummy."

Part II:  Baby Ben
It's that time again -- time for a new round of Funny Stuff Ben Says and Does! 

  • For a little while, Ben knew Daniel's and my first names.  But now when you ask him what Mommy or Daddy's name is, he answers, "Honey."
  •  He has a freakish memory.  We can read a book or sing a new song once or twice, and he can suddenly fill in the blanks if you ask him to.
  • While reading a favorite book about a visit from Nana, he showed extra interest in the page where Nana gives the little-girl protagonist a nightgown.  I usually call the nightgown "pajamas" to keep it somewhat relevant to my non-nightgown-wearing son, but I explained it a little further this time, and the following conversation ensued:
Micah: That's a nightgown.  Girls wear nightgowns.
Ben: Giwls wear nightgowns.
Micah: What do boys wear?
Ben: Boys wear... shirts.
He states both of these facts several more times, then out of nowhere...
Ben: Giwls wear... nuffins! (hysterical laughter)
I had no idea this sentiment was one boys spontaneously created before age two.  I am in big, big trouble.
  •  He's started calling things "cute."  Mommy is cute, Baby Moses is cute, a random baby at the library was cute, animals are cute, etc.  And he raises the pitch of his voice when he says it.
  • He thinks it's really funny to say that things smell like pepperoni (which sounds extra cute when you can't say the letter R).
  • We took him to Lowe's recently, and he is in love.  He talks about the "tool store" alllllll the time now.  The morning after the Lowe's trip, I loaded him in the car to go to Wal-Mart and told him we were going to the store.  He excitedly asked, "Tool store??  See jigsaws?  Miter saws?"
  • On that same special trip to Lowe's, we bought him a pink sprinkler - an item he dreamed up and has specifically requested for weeks.  Apparently our green sprinklers weren't cool enough for him.  I didn't even know pink sprinklers existed, so we pretty well had to get it when we saw one for under $3.  Maybe someday it will get warm enough to go outside and play with it.
  • Have I mentioned before that he is insanely opinionated?  And bossy?  He will tell you to sit on the floor, and then get upset because he actually wanted you to sit one foot to the left of where you sat.  He also tells us frequently, "No say that!"  I considered it a milestone tonight when he, without being told to ask nicely, said to me, "No say that, Mommy.  Pwease."
  • He sort of has an imaginary friend?  Her name is Goggy (which is all the more bizarre because I had an imaginary friend named Coggy when I was a kid).  Goggy started out as a nonsense word that Ben made up to amuse himself.  So we might ask, "Ben, what do you want for breakfast?"  And he would reply, "Goggy (hysterical laughter)!!"  Somehow over the course of a few weeks, Goggy has morphed into a person that he randomly talks about.
  • One of his new favorite play areas is a "cave" I made him on our loveseat.  The cave is really not that awesome, but crawling in/out and throwing items in/out of it entertains him for long stretches.  We're talking minutes at a time, people!  He also cleans his cave with an ear thermometer, which he calls a "dust-buster" (the handle part really does look like a dust-buster -- props to my clever boy on that one).

    Parenting at this stage is quite an adventure.  It's more and more fun all the time to see the sweet, cute, witty parts of his personality develop.  But I have to get more and more creative to manage the strong-willed, whiney, stinkery parts that are also developing.  I complain too often about those latter parts because they sometimes take up a lot of the day, but I honestly LOVE having a toddler.  He is a gift that I do not take for granted!

Sunday, May 15, 2011


One of the 30 Before 30 items I've been most excited about is paying a surprise visit to my parents.  I started realizing, though, that if I waited much longer, I would either have to fly by myself with two kids or pay for an extra plane ticket to make Daniel come with me.  So when some of my oldest, dearest friends tried to convince me to pop into central Arkansas at the end of April, I (very, very excitedly) agreed.

me, Rebecca, Whitney, Angela
These are my girls :)  We try to get together and go to a major-league baseball game at a different park every summer, but two of us didn't stagger our pregnancies very well this year.  So we settled for a minor-league game in Little Rock, followed by a little sleepover.  We also got to celebrate Whitney's daughter's first birthday and go to a baby shower for Rebecca (who is expecting baby Caroline at the end of June).  Have I mentioned that I love these girls?  Because I love these girls.  I'm beyond thrilled that I got to spend some time with them and celebrate fun things in their lives.

My girls knew I was coming, but they were just about the only ones.  But even with all my secrecy, I didn't quite get to surprise my parents.  I knew I would have to call my dad before I got there because I needed a ride from the airport from someone who had a car seat.  Then he had to spill the beans to my mom because she kept trying to make plans that interfered with our arrival.  So they both knew a few hours before Ben and I landed in Little Rock.
His hair was almost this curly the whole trip.  That Southern humidity is crazy.

I mentioned here that I was nervous about flying with Ben.  I wish I had wasted all those valuable minutes worrying about something else because he did soooo well.  I'm still in shock.  Everything about flying was the coolest thing he had ever seen.  The wings!  The machinery (he still talks about "machine-wee") inside the wings!  All the people!  With suitcases!  Different colored suitcases with handles!  The air conditioner things above our heads!  He was hilarious.  And never shed a single tear while we were flying (I gave him raisins or jelly beans during take-off and landing, just in case). 

He was also pretty excited about seeing Nana, Granddad, and the rest of the familial crew.  So excited that he barely slept the entire trip.  We never managed to get him to bed on time, and he would wake up around 6am and talk, talk, talk to himself.  For at least 30 minutes, non-stop.  I guess he had to review all the fun things he had been doing?  Who knows.
A smooch from aunt Mindy (my big brother's wife)
We were there Wednesday night through Monday morning, and we squeezed in time with all my siblings, both sets of my grandparents, and a handful of aunts, uncles, and cousins.  I can't really remember the last time I went home when it wasn't a holiday, so it felt kind of nice to see everyone without having crazy holiday rushing-around.  I'm counting the trip as a success all around.  Thanks to all of you who made it possible and made it special!
Could they BE any cuter?  Cale and Jude (big brother's sons), Ben

PS - I did a terrible job of taking pictures (I was having too much fun to bother), so most of these were stolen from my mom.  She has more pictures and stories on her own blog here and here.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

He knows me so well.

Daniel took Ben to Target this week and let him pick out a Mother's Day gift for me.  According to Daniel's account, Ben understood that he was picking something for Mommy, and he was adamant in his choice.  All I can say is, that kid has my tastes pegged:

You can't tell here, but it has a purple leopard-print design on the other side.  It also has a companion cup with a more masculine dog and the message "King of My Castle."  After this home run, I think I'm going to let Ben do all our Christmas shopping this year :)

As excited as I am about that cup, I'm a teensy bit more excited that I've trained Ben to give me "special kisses" on command (excuse his pre-nap crankiness, please):

We are having gorgeous weather here this weekend, and I am maybe a little too excited to wear some of my favorite Spring clothes before I'm too spherical to fit into them.  And since I'm rather fond of the dress I wore this morning, I made Daniel take Baby Moses' first official belly picture.  Here he/she is at 19.5 weeks:

I am indescribably thankful for Ben and Baby Mo.  They are treasures, and I can hardly believe I get to be their mom.  I'm also more and more grateful all the time for my own mom.  It's fun to be at a stage of life where I still need her support/advice/wisdom/mothering, but I can also call her just to talk as friends.  I can't do my mom justice in a few sentences here, so I'll just sum it up with a big ol' I LOVE MY MOM!  

This year on Mother's Day, I'm also doubling up my prayers for sweet friends who are remembering babies they've lost and for sweet friends who are waiting and hoping for children.  Love and BIG hugs to you!

Happy Mother's Day!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

An update that uses actual words

  • This requires a post of its own (which I hereby vow to compose within the next week), but I crossed another item off my 30 Before 30 list!  Last Wednesday, Ben and I made a surprise visit to my parents in North Little Rock.  I think my parents were excited, but they kept commenting on how they wished Ben were a little bit cuter.  You can't please everyone, you know? 
  • Ben is hilarious.  I don't even know where to begin talking about the funny things he says and does these days.  Some of my favorites:  
    • He says he is "medium-sized" and that he is a "person" (not a baby, a girl, a monkey, etc.). 
    • He routinely says "Oh my!/Oh goodness!/Oh my goodness!" at appropriate times.
    • He likes to attempt to juggle.  
    • He loves girls of all ages (any female, including our 70-year-old cashier yesterday, is a girl to him) and points them out, sometimes creating awkward moments with strangers.  
    • I think he tries to plant subliminal messages in our heads -- sometimes he'll lean into me or Daniel and whisper "ice cweam" (or something equally delicious) while making a hopeful, mischievous face.  
    • He tells me to do things "differently" -- with the -ly at the end.
    • He randomly recites parts of books, even ones I didn't realized he liked.
  • The flip-side of all that cuteness:  he has started throwing impressive fits.  Usually about something very minor and illogical.  I haven't quite figured out the best way to handle him when these happen because he is usually a pretty logical kid, and I can reason with him to some degree.  Note:  I am NOT asking for your advice here -- I'm just being honest about what's going on in my household.  I'll gladly accept your commiseration or encouragement or prayers, but I'm not asking the Internet how to parent my child.  Yet ;)
  • As of today, I am 19 weeks pregnant with the child still known around here as Baby Moses.  I'm counting this as my halfway point because my doctor indicated that I'll probably deliver around 38 weeks (I don't think I've ever posted the story of Ben's delivery here, but he was kind of a booger, and after his extra-special surgical removal from my innards, I am not supposed to do the whole labor thing.  Like, at all.) 
  • We'll find out on May 16 if Moses is a boy or girl.  It's weird how differently I think about this pregnancy.  With Ben, I could barely wait to find out.  And I'm still plenty excited this time, and it will be fun to have a real name for the baby and start to prepare a little better, but I guess I think more this time about the baby at the END of this pregnancy.  In some ways, having Ben around makes me marvel more at this new baby -- because I see concrete evidence that what starts as a little baby inside me turns into an awesome little person outside me.  In other ways, Ben's presence is so very tangible that Baby Moses almost doesn't seem real yet.  I'm really not explaining this well, so I'll just add one more disjointed statement:  On a pretty regular basis, Daniel and I laugh about something Ben has done and say, "Can you believe we get to have another one of these?"  We're pretty excited for September.
  • I guess my belly has started sticking out more because I catch Ben looking at it and talking about Moses more often.  He tells me what Moses likes (today it was purple trees).  And yesterday he threw a ball (a very soft one) at my belly and said, "Toss it to Moses!"  We've read a couple of little books about baby siblings/big brothers, and he likes the idea of a baby in our family.  However, he is definitely still clueless about what it will really be like (I'm not sure I can process what it will be like!).  I'm gearing myself up for a tough adjustment period, but I am so thankful for both of my babies and can't wait to introduce them to each other!
  • This never, ever happens anymore, but I actually have something new going on in my own life.  Whoa.  I'm starting to volunteer at our crisis pregnancy center in town.  I'm in the middle of a 21-hour volunteer training right now, and despite how intense that seems, I am loving it.  After every training session, I come home more excited about being involved there.  I'll probably be working with their Life Steps program, which provides ongoing support/education for women who have decide to keep and parent their babies.
  • Anyone who has read this post deserves a reward.  So... Mom, let me know when you've read this, since I'm quite sure you're the only person who will make it this far :)

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

This will have to do.

Oops.  I kind of stopped blogging there for a few weeks.  I have a lot to say, but I'm watching TV with my husband right now, so none of it will make any sense.  Therefore, I give you some pictures and videos from the last week or so:

Ben likes ice cream.  Like, a whooooole lot.
We tagged along on our college group's Spring retreat and got to play in a hot spring pool.  

Then it was Easter, and there was snow. And a toddler who didn't want his picture taken.
I don't look this hugely pregnant in person.  Yikes.
And, finally, here is Ben's explanation of why we celebrate Easter:

Friday, April 1, 2011

Springtime, you've been a bad friend to us.

I thought it was really sweet that Ben liked to sleep with Pippo the sock monkey.  Until this morning, when I had to clean puke off Pippo's surface-wash-only body.  Poor Ben can't catch a break this Spring.  He just got over RSV (his case seemed very mild, so it wasn't the end of the world), and now he has some sort of stomach nastiness.  And, naturally, he is growing another canine tooth.  Few things in toddler-parenting are worse than the canine teeth, but having stomach nastiness on top of teeth-growing most definitely qualifies as worse

Ben seems to get sick most often on Fridays, when I have to decide whether to take him to the doctor immediately (and find out it's nothing) or take my chances over the weekend.  I'm opting to take my chances this time because I think he just ate something that didn't sit well with his little tummy.  Namely, "fluffy stuff" from the deli counter at King Soopers.  Every time I buy lunch meat lately, the fluffy stuff looks so good to me -- this would be some mysterious combination of Cool Whip, fruit, marshmallows, and pudding mix that is generally disliked by everyone except retirement-home dwellers and me.  So I bought a container of orange fluffy stuff yesterday and shared some with Ben at lunchtime.  After seeing how it looks in diaper (again and again and again) and vomit forms, the fluffy stuff no longer holds any appeal for me.

Ben gave a few indications last night that he wasn't feeling great, but I mostly blamed the pesky tooth and thought he would sleep off anything else that was bothering him.  Incorrect.  I heard him whimpering several times last night (not uncommon when he's teething) and finally gave in and checked on him around 2:30.  When I walked into his room, he was standing with his head laid on the top of his crib rail.  He looked up at me and said, "Sad."  And my heart immediately melted into a puddle of I'll do whatever is necessary to keep you from ever being sad ever again ever.

Unfortunately, that included cleaning poop off of 75% of his horribly diaper-rashed body and pajamas AND changing vomited-upon crib sheets.  On two and a half hours of sleep.  Motherhood is very glamorous, in case you haven't heard.

Maybe this is selfish, but there is a teeny bit of silver lining in this for me:  my active little man is suddenly all about snuggling with Mom.  When I finally got him cleaned up and ready to go back to bed last night, he just wanted to cuddle in the rocking chair with me.  And when he protested going back in his crib, my puddle heart couldn't take it. So I held him the rest of the night.  I eventually gave up and took him to my bed, where I slept with him curled up on top of me.  Best two hours of bad sleep I have ever had.

Even as an adult, I totally sympathize with the need to be close to your mom when you feel crummy.  Being on the Mom end of that feeling, though?  It's pretty amazing.  God is gracious to use the especially un-glamorous parts of motherhood to remind you how precious it is to love your child.

I tried to give Ben some silver lining, too.  If he has to be naked and air things out anyway, he might as well get a little messy, right?
(He looks very neat here, but don't be fooled.)

Saturday, March 26, 2011

I'm asking for your advice.

I usually avoid putting myself in situations where people will give me advice because I don't like advice.  However, I'm hoping some of you will have a little expertise to offer me on this one:

Have you ever flown with a toddler?  What did you do to make it bearable for your kiddo and for you?

In particular, I'm worried about take-off and landing (I feel reasonably capable of entertaining him and keeping him happy otherwise).  I flew several times with Ben when he was a baby and never had any trouble.  I was nursing then, though, so I just fed him at the beginning and end of each flight (the kid never refused to nurse, hungry or not).  We're past that stage now, but I think he's still too little to let him have a sucker on the flight.  Should I just give him a sippy cup and try to convince him to suck on it for a couple of minutes at a time?  I don't see that working, but I haven't come up with a better plan.  Help!  How do I keep his little ears from hurting too much?

I'm really jumping the gun here because we're not actually flying until this summer.  But I was thinking about it today and wanted to ask before I forgot :)  In case this matter to anyone, Ben will be 21 months old, and he will not be in his own seat.  I'm relishing this lap-child thing while I still can!

Saturday, March 19, 2011


I know every other post around here is about the funny things Ben says.  But, you guys, he says so many funny things.  And I don't have a good place where I write them down, so if you don't like it, you don't have to read it.  I mean that in the nicest possible way.

Let me start by saying that Daylight Savings Time is my new best friend.  Ben had gotten in the habit of waking up around 6:30 every morning, which made for some verrry long and trying days.  Now that the sun comes up later, though, he has been waking up at 7:45 or later.  One morning he slept until 8:45.  I probably should have gone in to make sure he was still breathing, but honestly, I didn't want anything to ruin the sheer joy I was experiencing.  I realize that sounds cold-hearted, but a quiet house at 8:30am?  It makes me too happy to think clearly.  

Anyway, Ben and I are both much better off and like each other much more this week than we did last week.  And in my current state of being enamored with my child, I give you some of my favorite funny things Ben says at eighteen months old:

When he does something he thinks is impressive, he claps and tells himself, "Good job!"  However, he pronounces it, "Joo Bod!"  Cutest. Thing. Ever.  Sometimes he changes is up and says, "Niiiice."

He has fully mastered the appropriate usage of "bummer" (which he sometimes replaces with "ratsos") and "woot!"

He asks everyone and everything what they are doing.  When he pretends to talk on the phone, he says, "Woh (Hello)?  Doin'?"  He also asks the cat frequently, "Justin?  Doin'?"  Justin is a jerk and never answers.

One day this week, the TV was on, and there was one of those scrolling news bars across the bottom.  He pointed to it and said, "Wetters (letters).  Going by."  Umm, genius.  This is not something he has ever seen and certainly not something we have ever talked about. So I think his description was pretty spot-on.

For a couple of months, he has liked to review randomly the things he is not allowed to do.  Apparently we tell him that boys aren't allowed to do certain things because that's how he phrases it.  For instance, he might say, "Wamps?  Knives?  Boys [shaking head]."  Translation:  Boys aren't supposed to touch lamps or knives.  Now he adds the word "dwown-ups" to indicate that grown-ups can do these things.
The boy loves tools.  Here he is holding a "dwiver."

He has quite the imagination.  He decided recently that there is a moose living in our dishwasher.  I really have no clue where that idea came from, but he thinks it's hilarious and talks about it all the time -- "Moose!  Dishwasher!"  And he opens the door to talk to the moose -- "Moose!  Are you (where are you)?"

Sometimes he walks into my legs or Daniel's and says, "Tunnel!"  If he does this to you, you're supposed to spread your feet out and let him walk under you.

He loves to talk about Jesus but toooootally doesn't get it (of course).  We have several Christmas and Easter books that he likes, and he knows these holidays are for Jesus.  However, he thinks everything is for Jesus, which is sort of true and sort of not true.  Like when he gets mad and hits me (hello, strong-willed child).  I'll sometimes ask, "Ben, what are you hitting me for?"  His response?  "Jesus."

He also likes to "sing Jesus," as he says, referring to "Jesus Loves Me."  He thinks the last word of the song (so) is "soap."

He asks us all the stinking time for fruit-flavored Tic Tacs, which he calls "tweats (treats)."

He loves to help me with laundry.  He's especially good at standing next to the dryer and putting in the clothes I hand him.  He was a little traumatized, though, when he saw me washing one of his favorite blankets.  Lesson learned.
With Pippo, his beloved sock monkey

We recently bought him a play kitchen, and he is obsessed with it.  Sometimes he asks for it before I even get him out of his crib -- "Kitchen!  Basement (the location of our playroom, and thus the kitchen)!  Pwease!"  He always wants to make chocolate cookies, and today Daddy taught him to make tea on the stove.  He also puts various toys in the microwave, which is just above his head, and he says, "Weach up high! Mike-wave!"

This one comes to me second-hand:  In the church nursery this weekend, his teacher Mrs. Bernice showed him a little figurine and told him it was Moses.  He informed her that it was, in fact, Noah.  He was right.

He says that anything he can't see is "hiding."  Friends who go back to their own houses?  No, they're just hiding.  He also likes to cover things up and tell you they are hiding.  This concept is endlessly amusing to him.

It's worth noting that all these things are said by an incredibly cute child with bright orange hair.  So he's pretty irresistible.  I'm sure I've forgotten some of the best things he says.  Fortunately for me, this is my blog, and I can just make another post like this whenever I want.  So there.