Friday, April 27, 2012

Draft 2012!

Last night I watched the NFL draft almost in its entirety.  This is an event I have never cared about until a few years ago.  I recall the guys at prom in high school wanting to linger around the TV because the prom was during the draft and I could have cared less.  I was watching by chance when Chris Long first caught my eye a few years ago and that is how it all started.  I still don't care a whole lot...I mostly like to check out the cute but huge early 20's aged dudes and try to pick out players of interest to follow next fall.  They don't necessarily have to be the best players (although if they are in the draft the must be the best...).  They just have to catch my attention for some reason. 

The first thin I noticed was that this event would be a fun thing to attend.  The chairs of the auditorium were full of crazy (and probably under the influence) hoodlums yelling and acting crazy like it was a regular sporting event.  When it was the New York Jets' turn to pick a bunch of crazy hockey fans stormed into the aisles to see NY pick.  Their team had just won a playoff game and they wanted to keep the crazy going I guess. 
The second thing I noticed was that there is an excess of male to male love displays that might not be acceptable elsewhere (not in my opinion, I don't care what anyone does, but in the opinion of society as a whole).  That commissioner got hugged nonstop.  I missed the moment, but apparently it went even further!


I also noticed that the baby stat comparing obsession is nothing compared to the physical statistic precision of the NFL draft.  For example, did you know that Matt Kalil, the Vikings' first pick, has hands that are 10.4 inches across?  Or that his arms are 34.4 inches long?  (By the way, his arms are extremely long...the average length appears to be around 31 inches per arm.  If that guy spread his arms out his reach would probably be around 8 feet across with the width of his body!  He could almost span his arms from wall to wall in a bedroom in our house!  He could stand in our kitchen and just grab everything without taking a step!  I think he might just be in the 100th percentile for arms...haha...)  Also, the height is measured to the eighth of an inch.  I have to wonder why an eighth of an inch makes a difference but whatever...
I was very entertained by the sweet hairstyles of many of the players.  If you are a huge, talented NFL prospect who can get away with whatever you want it seems to be a trend to fashion your hair (or probably have someone fashion your hair) into elaborate twists and braids that add several inches to you height and make you look like a ram or other horned animal.  I tried to find pictures but all the players had hats on in the photos. 
You can tell something crazy is going on under the hat because it does not fit the head and is clearly stretched over a big hairstyle.  Each was crazier than the last! favorites...
Based only on his cute post pick interview where he talked about how growing up on the farm in Idaho gave him his work ethic and good values, I was attracted to this guy.  Also, I like his huge neck and his arms are an impressive 32.6 inches long. 

I also like Robert Griffen III.  It's not very original to favor a #2 pick and Heisman Trophy winner but I saw him on the today show (by the way, I thought Matt Lauer and Al Roker were decent sized guys but next to Robert Griffen III and Andrew Luck they looked very small) and I liked his personality.  In his post pick interview he talked about wanting to make his family proud and doing something someone with his name (he is a III after all) has never done before.  Also, I love his huge silly grin. 

So, that is my draft recap for 2012.  If you actually care about football related stats and whatnot you came to the wrong place! 

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Baptisms and Neigbors...excuse me...NEIGHBORS...

Regarding baptism, Ben's baptism is in 2 weeks. I can't imagine a better time of year than spring for such a lighthearted event. It will be at the church where I was baptized years ago.  There is a row beautiful flowering trees lining the street in front of the church and it happens to be flower time right now! is flower time in has been really warm here this year and the trees are a few weeks ahead of how they are in Eastern ND so hopefully we will hit flower time the first weekend in May for some nice pictures.  Assuming the weather is not total could go either way in early May!  I recall many hellacious track meets and baseball games spent sitting on freezing cold bleachers and wearing winter jackets.  This year hasn't been that way though, so it should be fine. 

I was looking back at photos from those days and found several of me and my siblings at baptism.

Awww...the young is hard to believe they were 25 years old when this was taken.  They were the same age as my brother is right now!  So young...

Here are my grandparents...what is even more hard to believe is that they were younger than my parents are right now!  No offense Grandma and Grandpa, but I think my parents have aged a bit better! We will blame it on the dated hair and clothes...

Interesting grandma Dorothy, pictured above, made that dress for me.  It is trimmed around the skirt and sleeves with Hardanger embroidery, a traditional method of Norwegian needlework that originated in the Hardanger region of the country.  It also has Hardanger on the yoke in a cross design and a matching bonnet.  And she did it just for me!  And I wasn't even her first grandchild! 

Here is a close up example of Hardanger that I found online...she is very good at it.  The standard for good work is if you can turn it over and it looks the same on the front as the back and hers does.  There are so many artistic ladies in my Grandma Dorothy does the needlework, my Grandma Phyllis makes impressive quilts and my mom and Justin's mom can make some fabulous clothes if they have the time.  They both used to sew complicated peices like men's suit jackets.  I can't imagine a more challenging thing to make!  That is why I stick to making fun and colorful fitting or lining involved!

 That is my sister with my Grandma Phyllis, who was also younger than my mom is now in that photo...She actually still looks like this and has aged well for her almost 81 years!  The dated glasses and the wearing of panty hose with open toed shoes are the aging factors in this picture...

I share this picture because it is party of family legend.  Apparently, the days surrounding my sister's baptism were days of me acting like a little $h!t.  There are about 10 photos of the day in the photo album and in every one I am making that sneering face.  I was not yet 2 years old and apparently I didn't like not getting all the attention from my relatives.  I am the oldest on my mom's side and I was a popular girl during my early years.  They couldn't get enough of me.  That is my mom's youngest sister, Jenny, by the way.  I suppose she was 19 or 20 at the time.  And now she is almost 50!  Eek!

That is my brother on his baptism.  We lived in Rock Springs, Wyoming at the time and it was a rather lonely affair without the big gathering of relatives that my sister and I had present.  In this picture my dad is about my age now and on his third child! 

On a different topic, I know I have mentioned our across the street neighbors, named Dave and Delayne, in the past.  They are older people, probably the same age as my granparents, and at first they were quite suspicious of us and nosy about what we were doing to the house and yard.  I think they were bummed about the previous owner, who was friends with them, getting too old for the house and moving on leaving them as the only old residents on the street.  We have continued to chat with them when we see them outside and last fall Delayne was over talking to Justin and told him she had talked to Delores (the previous owner who now lives in assisted living) and told her how we were taking good care of things around here and she was glad we moved in.  It was really nice.  Two nights ago I had bed out on the front step because he was fussy and I was trying to distract him and they walked over to meet him.  Delayne said she had saved the newspaper with Ben's birth announcement for us.  Their grandaughter just had a baby a few weeks after us apparently, a girl, so we talked about baby stuff a bit and Dave said that he wished their great grandaugther had been a boy (yikes!).  Yesterday afternoon Delayne came over with the newspaper and a few children's books from their collection they had around from when their grandchildren were little and one was about a little boy named Ben!  It was so cute.  I gave her a tour of the house so she could tell Delores about what we have done, like finishing the basement.  I'm glad we can be buddies with them now and they won't be worried that we are going to trash the place and let our yard to go hell.  Justin would never let the yard go!   When my parents lived far from home during the early years of their marriage they made friends with their neighbors wherever they were and still remember them fondly.   

On a COMPLETELY different topic, I have to admit that I just had to look up how to spell "neighbor".  I think I am a pretty good speller but that is one word that I never remember.  I just read through the previous paragraph and found it misspelled. 

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

It Had to Happen Eventually...

Little Ben has been a very good traveler since he has been born.  He has spent six nights in a hotel during his six weeks of life and has spent alot of time in the car.  He is always good when he is in his car seat and usally sleeps most of the time unless he is hungry or has diaper issues.  Well...we went to South Dakota for our nephew's baptism this weekend and the trip there was fine.  The trip home was the worst hours I've ever spent in a car.  Justin had been traveling for work so we met in Fargo and had two vehicles.  Ben was pretty fussy on the drive from South Dakota to Fargo.  As soon as we were alone in my car between Fargo and Bismarck he took it to another level and howled and cried for about 80% of the drive.  He slept for about half an hour but that was it.  I stopped several times to try to feed and sooth him but it was no use...he didn't want to be in that seat.  I felt really bad for him!  He was in a frenzy.  His back was sweaty and he had little tears in his eyes!  I have never been so happy to pull into our driveway.  Yesterday I refrained from taking him in the car just to give him some time off!  He did go in his car seat to ride in the stroller since it was very lovely out yesterday.  He thought it was just OK...

So...about the weekend...on Saturday before heading to S.D. we got a little tailgating fix to ease the wait until September comes again!  It was the NDSU spring scrimmage which used to be a nonevent but since the National Championship turn of events is now a big deal.  I guess it was even on TV.  I went shopping after tailgating and Justing went to the game but said it was pretty boring.  It was fun to be out in the parking lot again though!  It was pretty windy so I felt kind of bad having the baby out there.  At least our tents were set up. 

Get used to this place, Ben!  You will be spending many weekends here in a few months!

After the game we headed to South Dakota.  Ben's cousin, Spencer, was born three weeks before he was and we met him for the first time.  

I didn't get any pictures with just the two new buddies together but here is one with Spencer in it!  It was his baptism weekend so he had lots of guests and I didn't get alot of opportunities to snap pictures of him. 

It was also Spencer's brother's birthday.  Jack turned two!  It is hard to believe that he is that old already.  That is a nice Lego cake...

Here is a family photo from Baptism day...

Justin and I were Spencer's sponsors. 

Well, this post is over because there is a baby demanding my attention! 

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Mr. Rolly Polly

Last night after I wrote the tummy time stuff I had Ben laying on a blanket on the floor having another session.  He was not fussing or mad so I let him lay like that with his head bobbing and went into his room to put away laundry.  And, yes, I know you are never supposed to leave a baby unattended, ever, but our living room and his room are pretty much the same room because our house is small and also a baby can't fall off the floor so I thought it would be OK.  So anyway, I had my attention off of him for about 2 minutes although I could hear his little noises.  When I came back into the room he was on his back!  He rolled over! 

I wanted to see how he did it so I turned him over and he did it again!  Then I took a video of it and he rolled the opposite direction and rolled off the blanket onto the wood floor (oops!). 

I took a new video this evening with my good camera and not my phone.  Watch it if you want.  I admit that I rarely watch videos of anyone's kids doing any milestone related thing unless I am closely related or there is promise that the video will be funny so I would not be offended if no one wanted to watch this except maybe our parents or family members. 

So...the milestone madness begins...Although I told myself I would not obsess over these things I could not resist looking at a milestone chart in a book and was proud when it said the average age for rolling from front to back was 4 months!  I was excited and having visions of a physically precocious child and future NFL player or something.  Then I googled the phrase "baby rolling over at 6 weeks" and it seems there are alot of people who have had babies roll over at 6 weeks, and also 5 and 4 and 3 and even 2 weeks.  So maybe it is not really rolling at all...maybe it is just the weight of the out of proportion head pulling these little guys off balance!  The real rolling challenge will be rolling back to front!

Here is another floor time session from earlier today which did not go over so well!  I think the picture is funny because Ben is really pissed and also because Allan is in the background chilling out through the commotion on his catnip scratcher toy! 

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Tummy Time!

Throughout the history of childrearing babies have been laid down to sleep in various ways, including on their stomachs.  A few years back, studies showed that stomach sleeping could be a contributing factor to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, an event that is too awful for me to imagine.  It was then recommended that babies only sleep on their backs for as long as you could control the situation. (I quickly researched how long, but could not find a conclusive answer so I am guessing it is recommended for the first year or until the baby starts rolling around in his sleep like a kid does.  I believe the risk for SIDS is the highest in the first few months...)

As a result of this recommendation, SIDS has declined by alot (I think I remember reading 40% somewhere, but I don't want to look it up right now).  There has been a side effect, however.  Spending most of their time on their back delays the development of certain muscles in the neck and back.  This lack of strength can delay crawling and other milestones. 

To mitigate these delays babies are supposed to spend supervised time on their stomach for a period of time each day from an early age so they can build strength and get used to that position.  The correct term, I believe, is "Tummy Time"! 

I admit that I have not been very fastiduous about tummy time...when Ben was about two weeks old I tried it and he immediately spit up!  We hold him alot while reclining so he can work on lifting his head up that way and he usually ends up doing pushups and kicking until it is like he is climbing your torso or something so I wasn't too worried about his strength.  Yesterday he seemed bored so I laid out a blanket and set him on the floor.  It was awkward looking and didn't look very fun to me but I guess he has to start somewhere!

Hold it...

Hold it...

OVER IT!  He says "Get me back on my back!"

Ahh...much better!

Of course his bro Allan was observing the whole think and thinking, "What is the big deal about holding your head up?!"

Monday, April 16, 2012

Another Wedding

We went to a wedding this weekend...the bride was Kate, my friend from college who also was in KD and was my sister's roommate on and off for years.  They met in the Freshman dorm.  I was her personal attendant and my sister and my cousin were bridesmaids.  I used to live with one of the other bridesmaids and the other personal attendant is my cousins' cousin on their mom's side.  So we are just a big, incestuous group of friends!  The best kind of group of friends! 

 I had a very enjoyable weekend.  After Justin's role as a groomsman in a wedding when Ben was 2 weeks old, I got my chance to be (kind of) on my own for a day and it was invigorating.  I got a pedicure and had my hair done at the salon and got to hang out with my friends two nights in a row!  Whoa! 

Ben was a hit at the wedding...there were several young toddlers there, still in diapers themselves, who would say "baby!" whenever they saw him!  It was cute. 

His dad got him ready in his "dress outfit" and even tucked his shirt in!  So grown up!

Here I am with the lovely bride!  Did I mention that she was my personal attendant at our wedding back in 2007?  She was a very easy going bride to attend to. 

Ohhh...flashback to 2007!
I was thinking as I was in absolute heaven while laughing and having beer and champagne on the party bus after the ceremony that the best parts of weddings fly by way to fast.  The fun time with the wedding party together while travelling between the church and reception is my favorite part of a wedding (when I am in the wedding party, of course.  For weddings where I am a guest my favorite part is when cocktail hour starts!).  The sad part is that it feels like it ends before it starts!  It is when everyone can finally relax. 

Fun times...

There is Ben and Justin having a blast at the wedding dance!  Ben was a good boy all night!  Did I mention that he slept from midnight until 6:15 a.m. on Friday night/Saturday morning?  Maybe that is why I was so blissful all day on Saturday!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

First Visit to the Farm

Speaking of farms, before I get into the usual Ben photo bomb, I have to bring up a recent news story.  It has been everywhere so I'm sure many of you have seen it.  It is about the 7th grader who took control of a careening school bus after the driver had a seizure.  He steered it to the side of the road and pulled the keys out of the ignition so it would stop.  Then he and another kid started doing CPR on the driver.  They were on the today show this morning and the first kid's mom admitted that he already knew how to drive because she let him pull their car into the driveway sometimes and that he had learned to drive tractors with his grandfather.  I learned to drive when I was in that age as did my siblings and many kids around here.  As you know, ND kids can get drivers licenses at 14, or at least they used to be able to...I think the law is more strict now and requires more time with a permit and more restrictions about who can be in the car with young drivers.  Anyone who is not from ND who hears about our young driving is generally horrified but maybe it is not so bad!  Actually, I know it is not so bad but I don't think anyone can say that it was unfortunate that the kid on the bus knew what to do.

I had planned to take a bunch of cute pictures of Ben outside around the yard during this week when I have been home but, for what seems like the first time since winter, it has been too cold!  Colder than average!  I didn't miss that this winter!  As a result, I haven't taken him outside very much.  He was able to check out Grandpa's shop for the first time over the weekend.  I hadn't seen it for awhile either so it was fun to see the progress.  

He got to meet Cousin Jake!  

Jakey gave him a big kiss!  Gross!

Here is the knew workout loft, complete with Netflix subscription!  I need to start exercising again one of these days...

Ben gets to visit Grandma at work every day.  Here he is wearing an automotive themed outfit for the occasion earlier this week.

He thinks the garage is a real snooze fest!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

First Eatser Photo Bomb

As everyone knows, Easter occurred over the weekend!  I was thinking that it is kind of strange that there are so many little ornaments and decorations for "Baby's First Christmas" but none for a baby's first Easter.  I wonder why?  

We visited family for the long weekend and Ben met many family members for the first time.  The main events were meeting his great grandparents.  He has one great grandmother on Justin's side still living and two great grandmothers and one great grandfather on my side still living.  The rest of this post will be mostly pictures and not a lot of writing because I just want to get it done while I have a chance and Mr. Fussy Man is giving me a few minutes!

Here he is meeting Great Grandma Dorothy.

 Great Grandpa Glenn and Great Grandma Dorothy (My dad's parents.)

Taking a chill break with Grandpa Tim!

Great Grandma Irene (Justin's dad's mom).

Cousin Ryan (Ben's birthday buddy!).


Meeting Uncle Peder (my brother).  

Pete and Melanie.

Great Grandpa Phyllis (my mom's mom).  Ben is her first great grandchild.  

Cousin Katie (she already met him...I just thought it was a cute picture!)

We died Easter eggs on Saturday and I made eggs for my babies, human and cat!

Ben with his egg and his duck pillow from Cousin Katie.  

Cousin Blake.  

Cousin Dylan.

Aunt Jenny.

Posing in his dress outfit with Nana and Grandpa after church!  He wore it all day without any form of soiling!  Good job buddy!

Cousin Cayson!  He is two and getting very silly!  He is learning numbers and the ABCs and colors.  He is holding up #1 because he was counting during the picture!

Baby Benjamin with his Easter presents!  

Oops...forgot one...Twins bear from Uncle Peder!

Wow...that was a fast post...