Monday, April 26, 2010

ScottsMAN to the rescue!

I am not sure who ever had the bright idea of putting a lock on a bedroom door... a lock that isn't easily pick-able from the other side anyway... but I think that that person should be punished along with whoever was responsible for Windows Vista, and the culprit behind the iPad.

A few months ago we had discovered our distaste for this door locking phenomenon as one night while going to check on sleeping-Benjamin we realized we were locked out. Some of Jared's efforts included typical lock picking techniques such as credit cards (which showed that good credit does not equal lock-picking street cred-it...) and bent out paper-clips. Then Jared moved on to trying to lift the plate thing behind the door knob

in attempt to get a better view of the locking mechanisms. This act BROKE THE HAMMER. Of course the hammer was probably bought at somewhere like WalMart which means it was made in some sweatshop in China with sub-sub-sub-par materials by ...


He eventually also tried holding onto the door knob stem with a vice-grip to just twist it open. All while Benjamin was asleep.

So Why do I bring this up now?
Well tonight, while Jared was away at taekwondo... I was on Ben-patrol. At approxomately 20minutes before bedtime I went to go into Ben's room (we keep doors shut because Benjamin has a tendency to find Anything we wouldn't have wanted him to find.) to do the whole diaper change/pajama routine. But the door is locked.
Fortunately...I had just folded a number of pajamas that were in the clean laundry basket.... eyeing me with the little footies "fold me you bum, FOLD ME!" so I could still pajamafy ben. ...But time kept passing and the man who knew how to get ben's door open with minimal damage wasn't home and all Ben wanted was his crib, blanket and a few sweet dreams!

The ending to this story is exceptionally anticlimactic as... after 30 minutes of screaming about how tired he was, Ben fell asleep on my shoulder and of course Then jared comes home. Using his brute scottsMAN strength to open the door... somehow.

^^ This is probably something close to what Jared felt like in his accomplishment. ...with less hair up top of course.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Old People.

We had PBS on this morning and there was the Antique Road Show commercial... this one:

At which point I commented on how i would watch that show Every day if it were on... Stations play Law & Order endlessly, why not the road show? Or the History Detectives show, have you seen that one? dork-tastically fun.

The influence of TV on fashion and pop-culture then started to fizzle in my brain and it occured to me that if WE (myself and Jared...and ben?) watched the Road Show all day... we would Probably start dressing in a similar fashion to how people dress on that show.
.........Imagine myself or Jared showing up to teach a class as our twenty-something selves but dressed like this:

Somedays, critiquing student work Does feel a bit like this though:

as students bring projects that are still in incubation stage for me to look at... It is up to me in the next TEN seconds to determine if the direction they are going is totally a flop and worthless, a fake and copied, or design prodigy gold and they should keep going. Of course there is any stage between those, but you get the idea.

Our recent discovery of Julia Child being on PBS every Saturday morning
has motivated both of us to cooking even more - but I'm sure it won't be long before I start wearing poofy orange blouses - And it has gotten us more excited than anyone would have thought possible about our gardening/vegetables and such.

Progress is good. Jared fenced it in this past weekend and got a few goodies planted.

He asked me, when I went out to take the photo, if any green things were sprouting yet. I was sad to report the only growing in the dirt-poop is ...bird poop.

No worries though... it appears we have Cheerios growing in our front yard

The effects of animal poop on grass can be seen in our backyard. I believe you can also tell the exact radius of Luda's chain. Yes folks, where all of that long grass is... there was at one time a Luda-poop. He is clearly a morning pooper since that is usually the only time he is outback on his chain. Ha.

We've also laid some bricks down as a border in the front of the house - unfortunately as dirt poor (like that use of dirt??? huh??) graduate students... new rocks or mulch will have to wait another month or so. In the meantime, we'll plant some flowers and maybe our bushes will come back alive in time for new rocks!

---off to dinner

has anyone seen my slippers around??...

Sunday, April 18, 2010

copy-cat parade

He's watching us.
*cue x-files music*

The other day... benjamin tried feeding me one of his cheerios. It makes perfect sense, he sees us stuffing his face with cheerios, so he should be trying to do the same to us.
In his head he is probably having a dark monologue "here, YOU eat these little O's over and over day in and day out... how do YOU like it?? Huh!!?? Get me some Cinamin Life in my life already!"

He demonstrates this ability to copy quite well in this video

He told me later that he wasn't offended by me telling him he looks like an elephant. ...He understood that it was because the paper towel tube looked like a trunk, not that he is a Dumbo replica.....

He even knew exactly what to do when he was given a red cup... drink! ...and then crush it. I am not sure where he learned the crush part, I think that is natural baby instinct. --if it isn't edible, DESTROY!!--

This past week(end) was what we call VEISHEA here at Iowa State University... and it is some massive event with a lot of mini events throughout the week.
What is VEISHEA you are thinking?
VEISHEA was named in 1922 by Professor Frank D. Paine, Department of General Engineering. He combined the first letters of the colleges at that time, and the name has stuck ever since. The word VEISHEA (pronounced "VEE-sha") stands for:

  • Veterinary Medicine
  • Engineering
  • Industrial Science
  • Home Economics
  • Agriculture

When really it stands for Very Educated Inebriated Students Hanging out Everywhere All week. I substituted for a few classes this week - and the expectation that the students could just leave early to go to VEISHEA parties remains mind-boggling... even after being here now for however many years. Maybe I have just live in a vortext of NERDism and will never understand it. In this sense... I am happy to let Benjamin copy our actions as we showed up to the Saturday morning parade bright eyed and bushy tailed.

Speaking of bushy-tailed... Benjamin got his picture with Cy - who does not have a bushy tail.

The parade this year, I thought, was significantly better than previous years that I have seen. The floats were quality:

and even the non-float things were good

as opposed to previous years where it was just a bunch of people riding in convertibles. ...not even throwing candy!
It was good that it was good - as this year's weather (65 and sunny) brought swarms of people! This is one rather small section of the parade route...

Some early-arriving friends of ours scored some SAWEEET real-estate

And the Lauber's kept the benjamin entertained...

so jared and I could focus on more important stealing candy from the surrounding little children.

Tip of the day: Give your eggs faces... they taste better that way. mmm.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Imagination Station

I'm currently in a design class where we are each designing toys or games for kids. More specifically, this game is to initiate the inclusion of (for my chosen audience) low-functioning autistic kids within the normal social structure. That is all wonderful and fine but in researching, our class visited the on-campus lab school where we can observe kids (as if I don't have 3 kids of my own at home to observe... Creature doesn't count as a kid, she is more like a couch pillow.) we were told about how kids really Learn to make-believe.
This is ... obvious in many ways. I'm quite sure there is not a genetic link to little girls pretending to be princesses hiding castle towers - UNLESS Disney has its own genetics lab in which case I am totally Wrong. But the point is that kids "pretend" play earlier on if they are exposed to such play earlier on.
Oh My God. Benjamin will have full on multiple personality by the age of 19 months. Okay no no, I know they are entirely unrelated, but it was funny anyway.
I never though to share before... but there have been times where Jared and I break into imaginative play for a dirty diaper change - it usually goes something like this **in starfleet type voices!!**

Kim: Captain, captain!! We've been hit! There is a leak in the lower cabins!
Jared: Alright, EVERYONE! move to the changing station!!!
Kim: *lays benjamin down* The damage looks severe, captain!
Jared: *making blaring alarm noises*
Kim: The ship is shaking too much from the damage, I can't get the panel open!
Jared: *holds down ben's legs* I've got it! GO IN! Release the poop-keeper hatch
Kim: *more alarm noises*
Jared: *cue dramatic catastrophe music*
Kim: How will we ever clean all of this up? It will take at least 4 wet-wipe-electrical patches...
Jared: Don't worry, we can do it!

etc. etc.

Where was I? oh yes, The conclusion of my day was that Benjamin will never need siblings - he will have plenty of an imagination. And if he doesn't have that, he will at least have fat cheeks and a double chin:

Theeere, that's better,

Yes yes, spring is FINALLY here, for real this time!
Which means two things: bicycles
(I tried bringing Thai leftovers home to jared, unfortunately not much of it made it...)

and garage sales. I bought a wheelbarrow last weekend at a garage sale... for $2. Yeah. $2. I've already used it for laying some brick out front (not pictured...will picture when I complete the project) and for hauling a shovel and some... twine. Twine is heavy these days. Those chemists make it out of some heavy element or something.

Also... let the evening campfires return! Jared and Bob brought home broken boards from taekwondo and though this picture makes it appear as though we are going to burn down our shed and the bicycles, halloween decorations, etc. within... we are not - the are for the fire pit.

And quite possibly the thing we are almost the most excited about this summer is our garden!!
Jared and Bob got some poop from some farmer (farmers have the best working poop) and then Jared rented a rototiller to rototill it all up. Jared sometimes gets a little giddy when talking about his garden. There is that twinkle in his eyes... the one I imagine he had as a kid when someone told him he was going to get to go to the arcade.

So here's to the "Best Year Yet!"

filled with fresh coffee (thanks for the mug, mom. Yes, I do use it regularly!!!). There is something ironic about it however which is that... to read the "best year yet" one must be right handed. As a left handed person I only see a blank yellow side that leaves me having to just Know that this is probably the best year yet... story of my life.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

The blogosphere w/o gravity

Well shoot, it appears that we have fallen off the blog-earth for the past MONTH. Apparently the blogosphere as we know it doesn't have much in the way of gravity. The abstract growth it expands into must not actually consist of any matter... oh well.

It would take me a full day to play a game of catch-up and though I would love to journal all of our adventures to you, I think instead I'll spare you from the procrastination you know you shouldn't be partaking in.

So in a quick review... early in March we drove ourselves out west to Colorado. Aunt Deb and Uncle Ron were kind enough to let us stay with them again... despite our pooping, screaming, crawling, adventurous, smiling, drooling little man, Benjamin!!! What's more, Jared's Mom came out and joined us too!! Benjamin got to have some grandma time and we got to get some mom time! Things that make jared and ben Very happy

Benjamin took full advantage of being spoiled...attacking the fridge at the first sight of possible undetection.

we hiked

and visited Estes Park

and Jared met his long-lost Grandpa

We did a lot more, and yet did a lot less! Mostly, we relaxed. Thanks so so so so much again for another fantastic vacation week!!

Unfortunately, upon return... reality reared its ugly face at us. Ugly face... like like something with an ugly face that I can't think of but I will do a Google Image search for by the end of this post if I remember... The day after getting back from Colorado, Jared headed out for a full week to San Francisco for a conference. Meanwhile back at the ranch I was wrapping up my Creative Component to be submitted.

It all worked out - Benjamin and I rode to daycare together as the weather started finally to warm up in these parts

and we spent plenty of time at the park where Benjamin realized the joys of swinging

Many people (especially the Art&Design secretary...) consider myself and my close friend, Brooke "crazy" for doing this whole grad school thing while also being parents... Well normally it is just fine and a most remarkable joy to come home to a squeeling mini-jared, but with Jared away for a week..... An epic battle had begun!

Where my most used design books once lived:

Benjamin discovered. He also discovered that Mom frequently pulls the books off of the shelf...and so he should do the same! Without risking the carnage of crinkly, page-torn, drool-filled warfare... I surrendered my white flag and traded out my books for Benjamin's

aaaah, the sacrifices parents make...

That is the smirk of victory on his face, DOMINATION in his eyes... he even has his hand extended onto the books that were his victory not unlike the Charles Peale portrait as he reveals his magnificence:


Anywho... enough drama,
Jared made it home safely from his California adventure and I happened to pass my oral examination "unconditionally" which means I will get to graduate as the first person with a Masters of Arts in Environmental Graphic Design... whatever that means.

So now, let us return to our regularly scheduled programming...

-- with the best hopes of updating much much Much more frequently!