On Our Walk Today


As I walked on the Sammamish River Trail with our wiggly, cute little oven – also known as Benji – strapped to my front, I couldn’t help but notice that we were having a very nice day. Sadly, this picture didn’t catch either the bald eagle that soared overhead moments earlier or the great blue heron I saw hunting in the Slough a little ways back.

Additionally, I noticed that I didn’t need flannel-lined jeans or the big warm jacket I ended up carrying on my arm: Benji in a front pack acts like several layers all by himself. I can certainly attest that Benji, who slept almost the entire time, stayed plenty warm. Now I know to dress more lightly when carrying the baby. Continue Reading >>

Secret Diary of Benji Ferguson: Part 7

Insult and injury! My jailors have stooped to new lows, inflicting truly cruel and unusual torture on me, even as I had just begun relaxing my guard. I trusted them, and they took that trust and trampled in in the dirt. Oh, if only I was bigger…!

The facts are these: While it is true that, in the last week or so, I may have disturbed my nefarious captors’ nights a little bit and, yes, perhaps I may have caused them some discomfort by refusing to nap well during the daytime – I have only done my duty as a prisoner, fighting to suppress every twinge of affection for these monsters, never succumbing. But we seemed to have reached some kind of equilibrium, and I started to lose my wariness. So, in summary, things were going moderately well, considering the circumstances. Continue Reading >>

Busy Bees!

Day’s Verse:
It’s best to stay in touch with both sides of an issue. A person who fears God deals responsibly with all of reality, not just a piece of it.
Ecclesiastes 7:18

Whew, it’s been a heck of a few days! Benji has been all over the board with sleeping — not literally, he still doesn’t move on his own, but figuratively — and on top of that we actually did stuff this weekend:

Really long, difficult night Friday night/Saturday morning. We both ended up sleeping until later than usual, and still moved through most of the day as zombies. This later-than-usual sleeping meant that when we woke up, we actually had to get rolling, because we had a play to get to at 2:00 pm. We packaged Benji, who finally fell asleep a mere hour earlier, into his carseat, gathered up the requisite huge pile of stuff necessary for traveling with babies, and somehow got out the door mostly on time. Traffic was horrendous, but we made it to my friend Ellen’s house close to on time. She and her family looked after Benji for us for the afternoon while Ian and I went to our play. We saw Gaudy Night, at Taproot Theater, and really enjoyed it despite having nearly the worst seats in the house. Continue Reading >>

Never Too Early



Nana reading with Benji, a book of big black-and-white silhouettes of everyday objects. We have been making up stories to go with the pictures. Benji doesn’t seem to care about our storytelling (fortunately!), but the images fascinate him.

You can never start too early when instilling a love of reading and books.

Finger Sucking Good

Yesterday Benji discovered that, when he’s hungry but isn’t getting food immediately, he can suck on his thumb or fingers to feel calmer. Twice he deliberately put his thumb in his mouth, and later we caught him with his fingers in there, drool slowly oozing from between the fat little folds.


This is exciting for a couple reasons:
1. It means he’s found his fingers and purposely did something with them; and
2. He is starting to figure out how to soothe himself when he’s upset. Not that I advocate thumb-sucking in general, but I am a fan of figuring out how to calm down without parental intervention. Continue Reading >>

Secret Diary of Benji Ferguson, Part 6

My tick marks, laboriously scraped into the side of my crib, indicate that two long months have passed since that fateful day I was wrenched so forcibly from dim, warm, soothing the comfort of my former home into this cold, harsh world.

Although I know I came from a better place, my memory of it, once so vibrant and inspiring, begins to fade in light of this new reality. The nine months I spent in preparation, training to face what I hoped then was mere hyperbole (ah, my naivete!), have started to seem less real than my new life in the clutches of Mommy and Daddy. Continue Reading >>

Quilt Love

Toys aren’t really meaningful to Benji yet, but he does love looking at edges. Yesterday we put up the most edge-ful quilt he could hope for: the road quilt Deborah made for him.

This was truly a family effort: Deborah made it. Mom and Dad supplied the quilt hanger. Gary did the hard part of hanging, measuring and drilling the screw holes. I finished putting the quilt in the hanger and putting it on the wall.

Mom brought Benji in and his eyes immediately locked onto this new image. He gazed, mesmerized. He reached to touch it. After a bit, he started babbling at it, smiling and putting his hands together by his mouth in delight. Continue Reading >>