Family Visits

Yesterday was the family visit day.  All six of the nieces from Jacqueline’s side of the family made it through at different times of the day, and my (Ben Sr.’s) uncle Joe and aunt Petra dropped off my mom for the “changing of the guard,” as Brenda headed home for a much needed break from taking care of us.

Pacifier is a great name for it.

If the pediatrician or lactation consultant we spoke to is reading this, I’m sorry, but we are already using a pacifier.  If said healthcare professionals have a problem with that, they get to come and bounce him to sleep.

The pacifier is seriously like a drug.  One or two hits on it, and his eyes start rolling back in his head, his whole body goes limp, and he is buzzing like a champ.  We discovered this after what we will affectionately call the “feeding marathon of 2008” a few nights ago.  Jacqueline fed him for basically 4 straight hours, from 3ish to around 7 AM.  For those of you keeping score at home, that’s generally a time that most humans are asleep.  I took over at 7, and since I am running woefully short on breastmilk these days, I reached for the pacifier, to give Jacqueline a much needed nap.

Sending laborers into the harvest, or a Summer well spent.

This summer, due to Ben Jr’s arrival, we took a break from our normal summer assignments (where we work to advance the gospel via overseas summer projects or by training students on a stateside summer project) to ease in to the life of parenthood.  Jacqueline’s job description changes to “full-time mom” for the next few years.

As a result, my summer assignment this year is to phone coach a batch of freshly graduated students who have committed to a one year internship with Campus Crusade either in the states or overseas.  I coach them in the process of developing a team of financial and prayer ministry partners, and also help them with all other aspects of the transition from student life to this scary new “real world.”

The thrill for me has been seeing the fruit of other staff members’ work of winning these students to Christ, building them up in their faith, and sending them literally all around the world.  The interns that I am coaching are going to Argentina (two different cities), Lebanon, Slovakia, a large closed country in Eastern Asia (if I told you I’d have to shoot you), Memphis, South Carolina, and Middle Tennessee. This summer I get a clear picture of why we do what we do.

Over the summer, I will be sharing the stories of how God called each of these folks to sacrifice a year of their lives to reach students for Christ.  Please join me in praying that each of them gets the funding they need to report to their assignments on time!

Baby Sling. Not as Cool as a baby Slingbox. But Close.

So, I am hoping that my phone very soon becomes a baby slingbox (with Steve Jobs about the give a keynote speech at the WWDC hopefully talking more about iPhone apps, icluding my fantasy world where a slingbox could be added to it), but in the event that it doesn’t, I always have the baby sling to fall back on.

My wife Jacqueline (or Jacq for short—hence all the plays on the phrase ‘Jack in the Box’ found here and at our website) is amazing.  That is unrelated to the baby sling, but since she made the baby sling, I think it serves as evidence for the statement.

She made me a custom, UNC baby sling.  Now I can not only look like a hippie, (which is a secret desire of mine… refer to the hairstyles I have rocked over the past years…) but now I can pull off “appropriately wine-and-cheese-snobby” and hippie all at the same time.  Nothing says snob like a piece of UNC apparel.  We have a right to be snobs, we’re the best!

The baby sling takes some getting used to, and requires one hand over the baby’s head while moving.  I have yet to slap his head into anything of substance, but it has been a near-miss on several occasions.

Well, back to checking the macworld live feed of the WWDC keynote.  I’m such a dork.

Discovering a whole new world.

It has been fascinating watching little Ben become more and more alert, as well as increasingly responsive to the world around him.  I’d love the ability to read his little mind as he goes about his days. Here’s how I imagine it going:

You would not believe the three weeks I’ve had.  These strange masked people grabbed me, promptly cut off my belly-button buffet,  and started prodding all over me.  Everything was so bright.  I could really have used a nap, but every time I got close to one some new-sounding and equally blurry person came and poked on me some more.

After the first few days, life isn’t so bad.  I get to eat all the time, and get this… instead of it going straight in my belly, it goes through my mouth.  I know, I didn’t see that coming either.  I have to say, it’s pretty sweet.  The only downside is that it doesn’t all stay in there.  It comes out the other end.  What a strange design.

I recognize two voices.  One is the person I was inside all the time, who now is the one who feeds me.  She’s really pretty, and is becoming less and less blurry.  The other is a deeper voice… the same one that used to only tell me in a really muffled way about “Tar Heel basketball” —whatever that is.  He is much scratchier when i lay on him to take a nap.

So I got hungry the other day, and tried to say “hey mom, can I eat now?” And you will not believe what came out of my mouth.  It sounded like a mix between a siren and a weedeater engine that is out of oil.  Needless to say, mom couldn’t figure out what I meant, so she took off my pants.  I tried again to let her know the problem, and this time when the siren went off, I peed on her.  I didn’t mean to, and I’m not proud of it, but it happened.

The last thing I want to mention is the strange mini-world they put me in from time to time.  The rest of the world is a sort of muted tones, Banana-Republic-meets-Goodwill sort of place.  Then they plop me down in this place that seriously is sensory overload.  Words can’t describe it, but I’ll give it a shot.  Take a rainbow, a giraffe, several mirrors, a parrot, something that looks like a stuffed chicken, a palm tree, and a half gallon of kelly green paint.  Mix them all together and stir vigorously.  You are getting close to the looks of my mini-world.  Most of the time I just close my eyes and pretend to sleep to avoid the headache.

So that’s a glimpse into my boy’s world.  I think.  I’m just impressed he can already tell we shop at Goodwill.