Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Where Have I Been?

Sorry I haven't been around here for a few case anyone noticed...hehe...

The reason is that my grandfather passed away over the weekend.  He was 82 years old so of course it was always a possibility but it happened pretty suddenly so we are all still kind of in disbelief.  He had a stroke while playing pool at a small town bar on Saturday around lunch time and never woke up.  He died late on Saturday night.  I have been at home visiting my grandma and stuff like that so haven't really had a chance to be on the Internet except for on my phone occasionally. 

Here is the obituary if you are interested...

Thanks to everyone who has sent condolences our way.  I appreciate it!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Another First

On the continuum of babies, Benjamin does not really have very much hair.  I know babies who have full hairstyles by the time they are a few months old.  I have a friend from high school who lives in a different state who has a one year old daughter who has hair like I had when I was four, complete with bangs neatly trimmed.  Bens is still quite baby like on top but was starting to get really long and wispy in the back and around his ears. 

I never thought I would really care about a kid's first haircut.  I hear accounts of mothers getting emotional and having a hard time watching, expecially for little boys.  I know some families have their own policies about not cutting a kid's hair for a certain length of time.  Another friend I knew growing up didn't have her hair cut at all until she was five or seven...can't remember exactly the age and it was the same for her sisters.  My mom did not have the patience for waist length hair expecially multiplied times two to include my sister.   When looking back at pictures of my mom as a little kid and even at the rare pictures of my grandmothers as little girls there is not a flowing haired girl to be found.  Sensible bobs seemed to be the rule through the generations.  My sister and I did have long hair for awhile in the late 80s but it didn't last long.  I should add that I believe there are some cultures and religions that call for kids to grow their hair until a certain age but I am referring to people who just make their own rules and either way is fine with me! 

So, anyway, I didn't think I would be very rattled by Ben getting his first hair cut. We decided to finally do the job earlier this week. His cute curls and wings were starting to look like a "Mullet" know, business in the front, party in the back? I am kind of sad to admit that we didn't go to a salon so we could get cute pictures of him in the chair with the cape on and everything. We just thought that he would never sit still for an event like that anyway, and the amount of hair getting trimmed was not worthy of a professional.

Here is a before shot.

This is a "before" can kind of see the wings around his ear.

And after!  Pardon my crazy face and chins...ugh...Justin did the cut with his clippers and it is not perfect but is pretty good.

And I admit...I miss his little curls and I saved one and added it to his baby book! 

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Imagine That...Something Cat Related From the Internet...

I saw this a few days ago on this fun website called Buzzfeed.  Buzzfeed is many, many pages of silly things that people might email to each other or put on facebook to entertain their friends.  It is full of funny lists and pictures in different categories.  I especially like the "Rewind" category because it has funny reminders of the 90's early 2000s and of course I love the "Animals" category!  These are currently on there and I have looked at them many times and they makes me laugh every time!  They are diagrams for how to pet a cat and a dog.  Pardon the "F words"...I would not consider the content on Buzzfeed vulgar but it is intended for adults so there is some bad language sometimes.
It's so true about that spot above the tail and the head area!  Allan is not opposed to having his abdominal area petted, although many cats are. 
Haha, yes, dogs will take whatever they can get! 
Speaking of cats, if you have a cat that has grown bored with traditional seafood medley or chicken flavored cat treats you might want to incorporate these into its diet. 

By accident, Allan got one of these baby yogurt bites into his mouth when it fell on the floor and now he is a fiend for them.  If he comes upon a Cheerio or a cereal puff he will eat it but he actually pursues these when he sees the bag.   One for for kitten...haha.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

God Bless

Ben's cousin Adalyn was baptised on Sunday.  She wore her mom's baptism gown and a beautiful headband.  I love this picture because you can see the cleansing water flowing over her head. 
The blond boy is her big brother but that kid in the right hand corner is a boy from the congregation.  I have never seen this before, but the minister invited any kids who were in church to come up and sit in front of the alter to watch.  I think that is a very nice idea! 
In the words of many, many baptism cakes, "God Bless Adalyn"! 

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Proud Moments

I was so excited this morning...I was in the bathroom getting ready to go to the Y and Ben was playing in his room (the doorways are about one step from each other and are situated at a right angle so I was really close by).  I looked in on him and found him paging through a book without any guidance from me!  It is so rewarding to know that the months of book exposure is paying off and he is interested in them.  Even though the book was upside down...haha...I just said he was interested...I never said he was advanced!  I should add that he has shown interest in books for awhile but not in a civilized way.  He has only wanted to rip them and chew them so far. 

That white pipe thing is part of the mobile that he took apart one morning in the crib.  He has lost his mobile privileges.  

Another fun thing Ben has done is walk with while holding a push toy.  Its funny.  He lunges forward and looks like I looked that time I mowed the hill in our back yard before I knew the mower was self propelled.  I don't know if you can see these videos or not.  It seems like it never works and I had to download a Flash update so if you can't see them no big deal.   The first one is funny because Allan gets in on the action and the second one is funny because he comes up to me and babbles at the camera at the end.  The really show the chaos of our house, including a huge stuffed dog that has taken up residence in our living room.


A few other fun photos!

Allan wearing Mardi Gras beads left over from Frisco.  Isn't he elegant.  

A photographer for the Bison Illustrated magazine caught this photo of Justin and Benjamin at one of the playoff games and let him have the file although he usually charges for his work.  Thanks J.Alan Paul Photography!  Justin ordered a few copies from him in appreciation. 

Monday, January 14, 2013

Goodbye My Friends!

It was a sad morning for me.  Several of my beloved house plants have been removed from the house.  I really like plants.  I always have even as a child.  It was fun to grow spider plant babies and ivy trimmings by sprouting them in a cup of water.  There is a huge plant at my parents' house that is probably thirty or forty years old that I cared for during high school after my mom decided she didn't want it as a living room fixture anymore.  My room was really bright like a sun room so why not?  And yes, it really is that old!  My grandparents had it for years before my mom took it in the 90s. 

One of the problems with this house (much lower on the list of problems than the closet situation) is that there are not enough places for plants in the sunny windows.  The window sills are not wide like some more modern houses like my sister's.  Now she can maintain some plants! I counted twelve in her house at one time.  I have two small low sunlight plants in the kitchen that don't take up much space and a wacky looking Agave (it's like a cactus) in one of the prime window spots.  This one spends the summer outdoors because it is not really a house plant.  It prefers full sun and heat.   I also have (I say HAVE not HAD because I plan on bringing them back one day!) a spider plant with curly leaves that are a bit different than the standard spider plant, a Dracena (looks kind of like a palm tree) and a "garden in a pot" with several different plants including an ivy that we got as a gift when Ben was born. 

Until Ben mobilized two of the plants sat on the floor where sunlight shines in and one was on an end table in front of a window.  The first to be removed were the two on the floor for obvious reasons.  Recently, curly spider plant had to be removed because SOMEONE figured out that it was there, within his reach, and he became obsessed with tearing the leaves.  All three of them have been on the kitchen table, taking up most of the room not taken up by the center arrangement and the assortment of crap that gets thrown on there when we walk in the door.  We barely had room to eat!

Justin wanted to throw them away, which was NOT happening.  I would not just throw a perfectly healthy plant in the dumpster.  One was a gift!  And I have been nurturing that spider plant since it was just a little baby sprouting roots in a cup!  It finally started growing its own babies within the last few months! 

Last Friday his co-worker got a new desk with a shelving unit attached and she mentioned that she wanted to get some plants.  He jumped at the chance to get my plants out of here.  This morning, he brought them out into the cold one by one.  Sigh...goodbye my leafy, air purifying friends.  I am confident that I will have a place for you someday, a place safe from little baby hands that want to tear you apart and eat you!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

10 Months

 This is a few days late but I thought I should commemorate Ben being 10 months old.  I think it will be fun to look back on these posts and see what he was doing.  It's kind of like a digital baby book! Some 10 month old facts...

1. I put a lock on the toilet because all he wants to do is splash around in there.  Gross.
2. Another favorite activity is opening drawers and throwing the clothes over his shoulder one by one and making a huge mess. 
3. He's still obsessed with paper and eating paper.  He can make a spit ball better than any middle school boy. Fortunately he doesn't throw them.
4.  He loves taking baths!
5.  He recently started doing this weird "rearing up" thing as he is crawling around.  It's almost like a puppy or kitten pouncing. 
6.  He figured out that there are items on most surfaces so now, even if he can't see, he reaches up to end tables and arm rests and grabs whatever he can.  As a result, most of our picture frames, coasters, and anything else that would be on an end table is stacked up along the back of the couch.  And my poor, poor plants...I think on Monday they are going to Justin's office for awhile.  Hopefully they can come home soon. 
7.  He has 3.5 teeth on top and still just two on the bottom.  They are sharp!
 8. He says "mama" all the time but I don't know if it is referring to me or if it is just general baby talk!  It is very cute though!
9.  He is very active and energetic.  I don't really have another child to compare it to but everyone who spends time with him says so.  Changing is diaper is really a wrestling match every time.
10.  One night he was in the crib, supposedly falling asleep.  He was quiet so we thought he was sleeping but he was playing with his mobile, which he had detached from the crib and then taken apart.  One morning I thought he was sleeping and when I looked in on him he was awake and had pulled clothes from his laundry basket through the slats in the crib and flung them around.  I can't believe the naughty things he figures out.

 Ben and his wings!

The brothers in one of their power struggles.  Allan doesn't give in and hide when Ben annoys him.  His ears turn a certain angle and he gets a look in his eyes and there is an occasional swat!  I intervene if either of them gets too rough but usually I just see what happens so they learn to get along.  

We got this hand print ornament kit for Christmas.  Since the decorations were getting put away I thought we should get it done.  I was surprised at how big his hands are getting.  The print barely fit in the star!  There was extra dough so we did Allan's paw print too!  Then there was even more dough left so we made little bisons with a mini cookie cutter I got for Christmas!  What will we do with them?  I don't know! 

Oh, I forgot to mention the most important thing that happened this week.  Well, important in the world of this house anyway...I was doing the dreaded evening spoon feeding routine and instead of clamping his mouth shut or screaming Ben opened his mouth to receive the spoon like a civilized baby would do!  Then he had the whole bowl of oatmeal that way!  Finally, some progress on the eating.  I am filled with glee over this! He didn't even smear any in his hair. 

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Frisco Repeat

It has happened again!  Another trip to Frisco has passed and another national championship has been won by NDSU.  Hard to imagine.  It seems like no one takes us seriously up here and now they can suck it!  Hahahaha JK...that was a bit vulgar.

After two trips I have grown rather attached to this rather generic Dallas suburb and its adjacent suburbs.  I love the downtown-ey urban planned shopping centers that are designed to encourage walking and community togetherness but end up clogged with cars and plentiful Mexican restaurants and how it is sprawling with developments just like any other suburb and when you drive between them you see a huge mall and then five minutes later you are driving past farm fields and ranches then suddenly their are housing developments as far as your eye can see and then there is another huge shopping center. Frisco, I am attached to you now!

On Friday night there was a pep rally at this baseball field...

It was fun although I wish we had been allowed to mingle on the field like we did last year at the pep rally which was in a (much too small) hotel ballroom.  That was like a party and this was more like watching a production.  We did gain access to a box seat which was pretty fun!

After the rally we went to a fun downtown area in Frisco filled with shops, bars and restaurants.  The streets there are lined with trees wrapped in lights and it is quite a pretty sight.  I took several pictures and they are all pretty obnoxious so I won't put them up for the Internet to see but this one shows the lights even though it is kind of blurry.

Game day came...and as usual, tailgating was a blur of walking, talking and bathroom lines and was over before it started.  Noon games come way too soon!  It was overcast all morning but the clouds cleared at game time!  It looks pretty warm but it really wasn't.  I think the warmest it got was the low 50's in the afternoon.  

Our fans were in the majority!  YEAAAHHH!

As most of you probably saw on TV, the game ended up being a pretty big blowout and this year they were ready for the flood of fans on the field and had the little staircases accessible so no one HAD to jump over the railing.  Many people did, however!  

Well, what a fun season...only eight months until September!  Haha!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Big News...

I just finished putting away the Christmas decorations!  Ugh what a relief.  That mess of a tree has been taunting me since we returned home on New Year's Day.  I don't think it needs to be rushed the way some people do and it is nice to observe the "12 Day of Christmas" which starts on the 25th and continues until Epiphany on January 6th.  People lose track of the fact that Christmas is part of the liturgical calender and the story of Christmas continues after Christmas day.  I always get kind of depressed when I see a tree laying out on the curb on the 26th even though I know real trees can get really dry and brittle and need to be removed before they turn to sawdust! 

Well, tbe 12 days cannot be my excuse anymore because it is the 8th.  And I have been tired of looking at these decorations for a week.  And I am MOST tired of Benjamin tampering with them and making a mess and trying to play with them. 

I will put some Frisco pictures up tomorrow.  For some reason Blogger is acting up and when I try to browse for photos the boxes and links don't show up.  Annoying. 

Thursday, January 3, 2013


Friday at 5 a.m. needs to get here soon!  I am so excited to get to Frisco NOT PREGNANT!  No dissaproving glances as I fly at 32 weeks pregnant with a doctor's permission slip in my bag, no XXL Men's coat over my tent of a t-shirt, no sober rental car maneuvering...eeeehhh!  For everyone going, I will see you there!  Justin already left to meet his road trip buddies so I am just trying to get organized and killing time! 
Now...the big question...which NDSU items should I pack and when should I wear them?  Ugh...decisions...

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year!

Hello!  I'm back!  It's New Year's Day and the post holiday buzzkill has started.  I have never really liked this time of year.  As a elementary and high school student January 2nd meant going back to class and the old routine of waking up before dawn and sports practices.  College meant another week of vacation at home when I was ready to go back to my friends and house but instead had another week of sitting around watching TV while my younger brother and sister went back to high school.  Also, although it is nice to put away all the Christmas clutter and have a clean slate the actual task of putting away the Christmas decorations is not nearly as fun as getting them out.  Wa-waaaahhhh. At least this year I have Frisco to look forward to!

Ben's Christmas was a success.  Here are some pictures of "Baby's First Christmas". 

Ben pulled this ribbon off a present and it became his favorite toy for the weekend, living up to the cliche about babies preferring the boxes and wrapping to the actual presents. 

What could be better than a shiny, spiral, flexible item such as this ribbon?!

Big moment...Benjamin's first Christmas present...the beginning of years of Christmas excitement and magic...'s a riding toy!

Justin's new lawn decoration.

Ben with Great Grandma on Christmas Eve.

Santa left a surprise on Christmas morning!  A puppy! 

The ladies on Christmas day.

The men.

present opening wreckage.  Put 15 people in a crowded room to open gifts and this is the result.  can you spot the toy dog and the real dog in this picture?
Oh, what else...New Year's Eve was very different from the booze and novelty noisemaker and stupid hat filled celebrations of my past.  Not only do we have a baby now (I know having kids doesn't mean that you can't have a night out for New Years Eve but this year we didn't have anything planned ahead of time so also didn't have a babysitter planned ahead of time) but also Justin was sick.  Ahhh...the days...when the midnight countdown was just the beginning of the night!
Ben was happy to get home to Allan this afternoon. 

I don't know if Allan felt the same way...

Also, the 27th was my dad's 55th birthday...the "double nickles" as everyone said. 

In his honor, here is a picture from last summer...haha just kidding!  That picture is obviously from the 70's.  I love the school color shoelaces in those Converses!