Saturday, December 12, 2009

how many teeth.

Ben's eating greenbeans these days - on top of cheerios, mashed potatoes, guacamole, cheese... anything else we feel like mooshing and shoving in his little mouth.... WHICH NOW features a tooth on the bootom, Thank You Very Much!

I ecstatically told a friend about the tooth that appeared, and another friend goes "...pssht, ONE... you want to feel how many I have??!?"

Well Brian, this is what Benjamin says to that remark:

Despite the tooth coming in, the little man has been quite the happy camper lately - as long as he's being bounced, dancing, hanging upside down, drooling, eating some inanimate object or getting a diaper change (must be a guy thing...).

He's still cuddly when he gets tired, but he has reallllly started exploring and going after things he wants! He has Jared's attention span for sure... BRIGHT SHINY OBJ....BRIGHTER SHINY OBJEC....brighter bright shiny EDIBLE object!!!!!!!

This weekend Angie came over and we did lots 'o baking!
hmmm where DID all of the cookies go, ben!???? hmmmm???

We had the kitchen all sorts of a mess but the results were well worth it.
After making a few cut out cookies in normal holiday shapes - it got a bit creative. PBR cans, bicycles, and beakers were the most successful ... There is extra dough left, so we'll just have to wait and see what else I come up with.

Little Man has been enduring the snow and chilly temperatures quite nicely with help from his favorite hat. I think this image would have been complete if he were holding a TV remote in his other hand. I feel like I've seen many a man asleep with one hand protecting his feed and the other protecting his viewing selections (**cough cough...surfings**)

Being a parent is really Really neat.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

i don't know whether to tag this as scary, funny, or just... these people need therapy - Freud?


that is today's story. I'll let you explore it yourself.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Great Thanks and Greater Understanding

Happy Thanksgiving all!!

Jared's Trifle:
mmm made from scratch Everything

Turkey Carving

Ludacris being Ludacris


What Rhonda should probably make as her new profile picture:

My Sweet Potatoes (Thanks Amie) They were delicious!! mmmm...

Jared and I were unfortunately under the weather the entire break (and the week before...uugh!)... So it was nice not having the stresses of traveling and instead having Jared's parentals coming over to cook some turkey and take Ben out on adventures. (Thanks guys, you were very very helpful and it was a Wonderful time having you visit!!).

It will be really really wonderful to get to see ALL of our family over Christmas break though, we are much looking forward to it... Someone needs to get on designing teleportation because... this whole not seeing family for months on end is tough!


In other news, I ...would like to declare what I believe to be the most difficult thing about parenting.. It isn't the sleepless nights-ish (though somewhat related), it isn't the terrible diapers, or even being spit-up on 23 times a day... I think it is the inability for kids to communicate and/or the inability for parents to understand the said communication.

Dear Benjamin... I can't wait for you to talk so you can just TELL us when you're constipated and ...just need a few gas drops. That would be much much easier than trying to read your mind. Thanks.


Usually by the end of our breaks from school we have beautiful cycling/trip photos....... buuut since we were sick, this was about all the riding we did...

Thursday, November 19, 2009

5 Months

Well, Ben's 5 month b-day has come and gone and ...we are constantly amazed. Everyday.
His growth appears exponential.

Not only is he sitting up on his own... He's holding his own bottle, eating strollers

and doing tkd kicks apparently.

He likes watching Luda take naps... and eyeing which spot of fur he's going to grab onto next.

he also likes pretending Luda is his horse...

Okay... maybe it is us who pretends that...

But mostly he enjoys just being Dang-diddly-CUTE!

The time really has flown by... remember when he was This small?

And he didn't really do much but eat and sleep... and now, whoooah boy. He's trying to crawl everywhere, he jumps and bounces in his stand-up kaginger

and squeeeals like a taradactle! and sometimes he closes his lips and blows out elephant noises... So great. Soon they'll be REAL words! ahhh!

There has always been something ...special... about taking Ben to the grocery store...
a: all the ladies/women/girls look back to make sure they get a peek.
b: all of the guys ignore your presence
c: people in general will get out of your way!!! (jared is particularly fond of this he likes standing at the cheese for a minimum of 15 minutes...debating which to purchase... and if Ben can get everyone out of Jared's way AND keep them away... that means no distractions ...!)

Saturday, November 7, 2009

A Green and Orange Tribute

Remember the project I mentioned a couple months ago... The bike Jared is building?
WELL!! The time has come and it is done!!



There were many other process steps... and many more trips to BikeWorld (thanks again, you guys are the greatest...) ...but alas!!!


Jared has his very own, personally designed... campus cruising fixie.
Check out how BRIGHT those wheels are!!!

He wanted green and orange and... for it to glow.
If you look close enough you can see a green tint to the wheels, pedals and the middle part of the handlebars... Yep, those parts all glow in the dark. In typical Jared fashion... it is like No other bicycle out there. He is excited.

Benjamin is soon to follow in his father's green and orange obsession:

Thanks Aunt Deb for the sweater - its perfect for this season!!!

Monday, November 2, 2009

The Weekend Away

Grandma Topp and Aunt Amie came Friday and took Benjamin for the weekend - My mom had work off and ...I had tests/projects/party to get ready for. ... So when she called Friday morning to ask "would you like me to get him for the weekend?" I said "uuuh YES!"

Benjamin didn't miss out on his first Halloween though, don't worry. Kris and I took him down to Main Street and joined Brooke and Logan in some business-style trick-or-treating.

Logan was my buddy for the afternoon

While Kris cuddled Ben and kept him warm

...Brooke hung out with the stroller... ;)
I'm kidding, I let her hang with her kid for a Little bit of the time

But shortly after, Ben took off to Illinois... And THEN it was time to get serious...about Halloween.

Saturday started with playing around on mt. bikes in the backyard, but after that official business was done, the SHED was decorated!!!
This is where we kept the tunes, food and beverages.

It featured a skeleton on an old schwinn bicycle in the back, a couple strobe lights, some orange stringed lights, many spider webs (some real, some fake!!), lots and lots of entirely unhealthy food (most made by Sami!!...thanks Girl!!) and who knows what else... oh oh! a painted pumpkin on the side that isn't pictured.
Right out side of the shed is where our fire-pit is. We started the sacrificial stew at around 3:30pm ... it featured bacon and... any/every vegetable that was found at the store that Might have a chance in a stew. mmmmm. YUM! Good job, boys!!!
Even Luda dressed up for the festivities!! He too enjoyed the stew...

Many joined us including Einstein, Disco that died, Courtney Love, some guy they introduced as Lenny??, a gay guy in the military, a zombie doctor, the Dude and others... whoah!
The best part was the company, it was just a Good Good group of people...

Sunday was homework/study/clean-up day and Monday we were missing our little Benjamin. When we met my mom in Iowa City (2 hours away for each of us) to get him... the moment he saw/recognized Jared his eyes widened like you wouldn't believe. They BURST open and his little bottom lip tucked under to make that unforgettable toothless smile... and his arms and legs started flailing... I think Jared tried to hold it in how proud he was at Ben's excitement - but I bet he'll remember it for a long long time.

**will post more halloween pics as others get around to it... i didn't have my camera out much at all**

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Happy Fall!!

Well the leaves have turned here in Iowa, the cold rains are falling and... the jackets have been dusted off. Fall is certainly here.

Angie came with me a couple weeks ago and we found Benjamin a Dinosaur costume at the second hand store. Pretty dang cute for $6 I might say! It was between this and a devil costume... this suits him Much better I believe.

We have been having SO much fun with the little man! He is eating rice now-a-days.... and we sometimes put some jelly on our fingers, or syrup... he likes that sugary stuff... Can't say that I blame him. I don't think he's supposed to have it though - causes cavities, but... a tad bit on the finger tips can't hurt, right? And he doesn't have teeth to cause cavities in, anyway! Yeesh!

His giggle is probably the best thing in the world though. ...I think that people at war should just... stop fighting for a second and listen to Benjamin's laugh. Next thing you know they'll be laughing together too and maybe forget why they were even fighting in the first place. One day I was singing to benjamin... we sing to him a Lot, he LOVES it... and he was laughing So hard that the bottle he was trying to eat from kept popping out of his mouth. HA.

This poor kid, his parents are So weird.
We tried sitting him up in the pretty fall leaves on a sunny day (because who knows what Halloween weather will end up being like) but...

Well he's not very good Quite yet at sitting up. He'll sit for a few seconds but when the ground is sloping the wrong way he topples. Builds Character!

And that is how we are building our son's character!!

I am imagining that he will be a thrilling 3 year old to have conversations with...

Saturday, October 17, 2009

And on the 8th day, there was DROOL

As a simple update: Jared's bike he has been working on is nearing completion... Patience, be patient.

We decided that since life has been so hectic that we would stay in this Saturday. And we did. I went to Starbucks with Paul and then to Bikeworld (not many saturdays are complete w/o a trip there...) then stayed home the rest of the day and worked on homework! I didn't even fark around or get distracted by ebay OR craigslist! Angie came over and even she got some homework done! Amazing!

The little man was in a really good mood for the morning, but we think his teeth were bugging him later on in the day... I wish I could describe with words the quantity of drool that falls from this guy's mouth - NIAGRA FALLS people.

This past week we had a little gathering of Brooke and Logan ...

Logan Really likes Ben! But holy buckets... two year olds are CRAZY. Logan is a GREAT kid, really great, but he is certainly an individual. I tip my hat to Brooke (and jordan) for doing school with a 2 year old. I mean... grad school is tough with Ben around... but its not like Ben is trying to open every cupboard in sight or reach for anything/everything on his level!! Our house is far from 2-year old proof. Alas, we do still Love having that kid over! hehe.

Also, and this may freak some people out... but... if ben is hanging on to the couch... he can STAND THERE! his butt wobbles a bit as if he were dancing to some Ludacris playing in his head (he probably is...) but he'll stand there. After about a minute or so he'll decide to sit down, but if we help him back up he'll stand some more!
Wow he's growing fast.

Time to go play in the garage.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Busy Days

School has picked up to full-speed... our around-the-house projects have as well.
This is a frame project ...needs a bit more work but it is getting close - there is a pretty flower on the other side, growing out of the grass. Yaaay! ...and the Sun probably needs a smiley face. :)

On really busy mornings, jared eats things like this for breakfast:
It is better than him eating nothing I suppose!

If you haven't caught up on Ben's facebook album he is as cute as ever!!

We have story time together most nights - Luda ...well turns out he Loves reading stories, too...I mean that 70 pound guy is more on my lap than Benjamin is. What a cuddle bug.

And this is a little bit what our Sunday afternoons look like. Jared and Ben napped together for TWO full hours today. poor kids - all kinds of tired.

Someone asked me about a month ago "what is the thing about parenting that you Least expected?" I think I answered it with something... just off the top of my head like "uuuh oh geez... how much POOP there is..." But I think ...after mulling it over, I would change my answer to being "how instinctive it all is." There are a few half-hours/hours here and there where Jared and I look at one another going "what do we DO!??!?" but we figure it out and move on. Waking up at 3am became cake. Benjamin goes to bed now at 9pm and sleeps until 6-7am... Some nights getting him to sleep can be a little bit of a struggle, but he cries it out and is done in 10-15 minutes and we didn't read that anywhere, we never really even asked someone about it - it just Seemed like it might work - and it did/ a man on a schedule, he starts getting a Tad fussy at 8:45 and is asleep by 9...and he can't even read a clock yet!
Knowing what he is crying about is also something that surprisingly easy to dissect. It is most noticeable when we are around other people watching him. As soon as he cries, many people assume/first ask "oh, is he hungry" ...he May be, but it is sometimes that he would rather stand up than be held laying down, he would rather face away from you to look around rather than... just look at you; he just wants his little Lion thinger to slobber on.

I think the favorite thing for both of us to do... is to get him to smile.