Monday, May 17, 2010

Summer runs!

Well hello summer, how are you doing? Yeah? Oh wonderful!

Our schedule is pretty well jam-packed for the next month or so... this past weekend was the wedding of Bob and Angie!!

It was a fantastic at-a-park-outside kind of wedding that featured some spectacular weather,

AMAZING meat/veggies/fooood caters by our dearest Mr Drew!

and the wedding cupcakes meticulously prepared by Jared who put his master baking skillz to the test!!!
They were....simply delicious. Carrot, vanilla and chocolate surprise...

Ben was, as usual, very well behaved. Just before naptime he got a bit fussy... but Auntie Kris well... after mocking him a bit:

put him right to sleep.

Playing with his Dora toy that Brooke left to us...makes him tired
Makes us tired too listening to the song it plays OVER AND OVER AND OVER. He pushes the horn and knows it plays the song and at first its all cute and "oooh look at him dance to the soong!!" and then... "Oh... dear Lord, please... let us wake up and there be a 'mute' button on that thing..."

Then it all makes sense why our good friend Brooke left it to us right before she left ...

Note Brooke with the evil toy in hand...ready to present it to Ben...

which reminds me of what last weekend was...gradu-freakin-ation! That's right, myself and Brooke and Troy and a few others graduated from graduate (whatever 'graduate' means) school. Brooke has accepted a job in Tampa Florida as a prof while Troy is going to Vir-gin-ia Tech... Virginia is for lovers?

Brooke cleaning up a party-foul... supposedly mine but I wasn't even Near it so... :P It was Probably Ben's fault.

I graduated too and this might be confusing to some people because... well I'm still coming back to school. See I graduated with a Masters of Arts in Environmental Graphic Design (wayfinding, exhibit design etc.) ...but in order to be a professor at some point we (in the graphic design world) also need the letter F on our pieces of paper... So I am returning for a Masters of Fine Arts in Graphic Design (graphic design etc.). Apparently sitting in a classroom and being poor for a few extra years of your life qualifies you just that much more for teaching positions... I don't know and you probably don't care about that at all... in your head you are screaming "what are you talking about and where are the pictures of Benjamin!??!??!!!!!" and I say

needy, needy people........

So those were the past two weekends.. not to mention any races, softball games or taekwondo tournaments... it is as if we actually have 3 children we're chasing after in extra-curriculars but we're the children... eek! 4 if you count Luda needing swim practice and running... haha...

In the coming weeks Jared will be headed to Atlanta for a conference and I am headed to Sterling then we'll converge out in Pennsylllltucky... Pennsylvania.

We'll try our best to keep updated!

Happy Trails!!!!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

cats and robots

Ben is mobile these days. Standing up on his own (even without using anything to pull himself up!) and taking a few steps here and there when he feels bold.

Eventually we had to cave in and ...purchase what is commonly called a "baby-gate"
we like to however think of this slightly more as our own in-house zoo exhibit as benjamin begs to join us on the other side as we eat slices of cheesecake in peace. This as opposed to the previous experiences of becoming human jungle-gyms to a tiger who acts as though he hasn't eaten in 32 days. .......HA! My cheesecake, boy!! Thank.You.Baby gate.

The rest of the "zoo" part comes from the cat and dog still being unwilling to tolerate each other fully and live in peace. Even when Luda is ignoring her across the room drooling all over himself - she lays on the arm of HER chair squinting at him while she processes the numerous evil actions she hopes to someday act upon toward him. Hollywood makes movies about robots taking over, but I'm pretty sure CATS have the intelligence (AND the social/behavioral manipulation) we should worry about. I do not mean to come off as anti-cat... I am just saying that these creatures are more intelligent than most people give credit for and... well in a war of robots and kitty-cats I'm pretty sure influential kitty plays lovey-dovey with robot Master to trick him into her trust before the kitty cat army is let in and begins to play with robot wires like a ball of aluminum foil on yarn.

errr or at Least something like this:

There was no purpose in that cat-robot monologue I just typed out... so on to other things.

The lilac bushes have bloomed!!!

That wasn't very exciting, was it?

Well fine, if you are looking for an exciting time I recommend feeding your pet pop rocks. better yet someone suggested putting it in rootbeer first Then feeding it to the pet. We only attempted the first however Luda is so used to eating anything/everything that the pop rocks didn't phase him. So... not exciting. What else might be? ....

Feeding Ben pop rocks!!! Unfortunately the event was not caught on video, but you should trust me that his eyes opened up pretty wide in satisfaction.

Well if you're not overwhelmed yet with what happens in Ames, Iowa... stay tuned? Maybe I will develop my robot vs. cat storyline a bit more in future episodes...

Sunday, May 2, 2010

happy smiles

A lot of Ben's photos... he's smiling and happy.
Though he has his cranky days (when teeth are coming in and such) ...he is a smiling, happy kid!!

In a somewhat impulsive, adrenaline driven decision I decided that I was going to do a mt. bike race this past Saturday. This, while Jared was in Omaha at a taekwondo tournament.

SO how does one race while hanging out with a soon-to-be 11month old?
A: ...tie him up to a tree?
B: wear him in a backpack?
C: Leave him home for Luda to take care of?
D: Call a uke playing, Omaha residing, hoola-hooping, poofy haird lady friend?

If you guess D, then you win the ultimate pleasure of watching this Fantastic Aly Peeler uke video ...I picked this one because it is a Ludacris cover (and remember...our dog is named Ludacris...). Aly, I'm waiting for you to do a cover of "ho."

The chances of one Aly being free on a Saturday afternoon before her b-day I knew were slim, but I could have kissed that girl when she said "oh ma god i would love to!!!!!"

Jared and I packed our goods for our competitions Friday evening so we were totally ready and Saturday morning, Jared left at 5:30am to get to campus and leave with the University tkd folks. I slept in an extra bit (like 20 minutes...ugh) and prepped Benjamin for our own little journey into... Omaha Nebraska (at least we didn't have to drive Through NE...eeesh).

And it all worked out!!!

Aly's friend Aaron came too and he brought his dog, Madison (or Maddie) who had balloons growing out of her collar for Aly's b-day. Benjamin liked that.

And there were swings at the park

And Ben does this lip thing that we don't know where he got it from but... it has become a rather prevalent facial expression. I like it!

On each lap of the race that I would come around... Aly would point me out to Benjamin and he would start clapping and getting all excited. It is a relieving site to see a cheering section following each lap of brutal winding, climbing, tree-dodging, log-hopping trails!

And the whole time... Aly said Ben never even cried.

Later on while waiting for times to post... he pushed/walked his little car thing alll around the picinic shelter saying "hi" to anyone and everyone who had feet that could be run over. Eventually I handed Benjamin off to Julie
(Julie is that one... and that picture is from the race the weekend before and I say that "people you lose sprints to have to hold your child for you at the next race...")

so I could go move the car closer. Again without fussing - Benjamin dozed off right in her arms!
I mean... I'm not sure how rotten and awful he might be during daycare - hopefully he isn't, we Love our daycare people... we'd hate for them to have to deal with a rotten benjamin!! But as far as being in a car for 3 hours, then at a strange park outside with strangers almost all day... followed by another 3 hour car ride. This kid hardly ever quit smiling!!

I think having a smiling, happy kid and our swarm of good friends willing to watch him (while we feed our addictions...) is a way better reward than a 1st place medal and a Trek gift card. ...But I'll keep both. haha.