Houdini Hands

Benji loves his hands. I knew that even before he was born, given the amount of time I felt his hand punching while he was in utero. Now his hands are his best friends; particularly when he’s upset, he tries to get his hands as close to his mouth as possible. Lesser swaddling cannot long withstand his Houdini hands.

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At this age he also grabs kind of randomly whatever is within reach. Needless to say, this proclivity makes feeding a challenge at times. Sometimes I need a whole nother person to just wrangle his hands while I try to feed him. I sometimes have a hard time believing he only has two hands, given how he gets them everywhere (prioritizing the most inconvenient places first, of course).

He often gets his left hand out first, so we’re wondering if he may be left-handed. Time will tell.

Meanwhile, we continue to plumb the depths of exhaustion and how functional a person can be on how little sleep.

Benji’s Road Quilt

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“No, mommy, I DON’T want to eat more.” I swear he can shut his mouth so tight it’s safer than a safe deposit box.

I have been meaning to mention the absolutely fabulous quilt Grandma Deborah made for Benji. Originally she asked about colors, and I remembered a blanket I had when I was a kid. It had blue and white stripes of varying thickness that I drove my Hotwheels and Micro Machines on, and when bunched up made hills and valleys and intersections. I told Deborah about that and suggested some kind of road for Benji to drive toys on. This is what Deborah created.

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Really none of these pictures do justice to this amazing work of art. She designed the entire thing herself, and only a few of the elements had patterns. The rest she created from scratch, too.

You can’t see it in the pictures, but she used the quilting to add detail to each element. Clouds, grass, road lines, building details, driveways, the airport runway… It is wonderful. I could not be more delighted, and I know Benji will spend many happy hours playing on it. For now, until he’s older, we’re going to hang it in his bedroom as the art it is.

So: Although it sounds, and is, inadequate, THANK YOU, Deborah, for the quilt.

Two Sides of the Benji Coin

Here is Benji yesterday during his tummy time.

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He was in that magical “quiet but alert” phase that doesn’t happen very often (normally it’s lightly sleeping, heavily sleeping, or fussing) and kept his eyes open long enough to look around a bit. Needless to say, we seized the opportunity.

Lest I give the faulty impression it’s all peaches and cream, however, here’s a view I get all too often, most frequently (of course) at night.

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Yesterday we went for a walk around our neighborhood park. It was a cautionary moment for me: My body is fit and eager to go… Except for the extremely tender still-healing wound where Benji came out. Despite my increasing desire to MOVE, my body made it clear that is not on the docket yet. It will be hard as I heal to let myself fully recover and not overdo (or do at all, for the moment) the physical activity I so crave.

In unrelated but positive news, we signed our mortgage refinance paperwork today. This saves us about $400 a month. Yay!

Baby Benji, Day 4 (yesterday)

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Life is tough as a newborn. Everything previously handed to you – nutrition & hydration, temperature regulation, oxygenation – now you suddenly have to do for yourself. On top of that, everything in your environment is totally new and unfamiliar. Gah! Fortunately, Benji has lots of people (like daddy and Nana) willing to help him transition.

Yesterday we had a checkup with the lactation experts at Evergreen. Benji is doing well, although he struggles to nurse and tends to get very upset – too upset to eat – when it is hard. The nurse reassured us that we were doing everything right, and gave us helpful tips for getting through the next week or so. Hopefully by then Benji will have the hang of it and we’ll move on.