Sunday, August 31, 2008

Ben's First Meals

Dapper Ben

So, just so you know, this is my eighth post today, so if this is the first one you're reading, be advised that there's a lot more where that came from. Anyway, here are some pictures of Ben doing what he does best - looking adorable - our first couple of weeks here in Rockford. First, in the swing. . .

With mommy in our new front room

With daddy in the front yard. Yes, we have a front yard.

On our way to church, aren't my boys adorable. Ben is the star of our new ward.

In this one you can see that he's wearing an adorable belt, too. It's quite the ensemble.

Future Rock Star

So, the weekend before I left, my brother Adam came into town with his wife and three boys for Karlie's sister's wedding. We had the boys while Adam and Karlie were at the wedding. Nick got a kick out of doing the vocals on Rock Band. Alex enjoyed "playing" guitar for a bit. Here are the two of them together. The guitar is the size of Alex.

Anyway, I got some videos of Nick's fantastic vocal skills and his mad dancing. He can read really well in general, but it's pretty hard with the words coming across the screen like that. He actually did as well at reading the lyrics as a lot of adults I've seen play this game.
Here's a pretty good taste of him singing Maps by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. He also rocks the "tambourine".

As awesome as Nick is at singing, I think he's even better at dancing. Check him out getting down to Learning to Fly by the Foo Fighters.

If any of you are worried about Nick's possible future as a rock star, stop worrying. Jon pointed me to one of his favorite band's lead singers - Thom Yorke of Radiohead. Check out this video. He really looks like Nick dancing around 3:20 into it, and the vocals aren't too different either : )

Future Football Star

Here are some pictures of a future football star, hopefully for the Broncos, right? I think they pretty much explain themselves.

Posts galore

I realize that I haven't posted much in a long time and now I'm posting tons at once. Ben's taking a really good nap, so I figure I'll get as many pictures up as I can. Here I have a couple of pictures of Ben with Jon's family. Ben sure does love the Willes clan. Here he is with Russell. I don't know if Ben realizes that he looks like his uncle Russell, but he really took to him.

It's a little fuzzy, but another shot with Russell

Grandpa Willes making funny faces to get a smile.

Reading with Owen

Here's a video of Owen reading to Ben. Owen can't really read, but he wanted to show his books to Ben. It was pretty adorable.

Owen and Ollie

My sister, Rachael and her little family moved from Utah to Pittsburgh a couple of weeks before Ben and I left. Before they went, though, we got to spend a lot of time with her boys, who stayed with my mom and I while Rachael and Lance got moved in. Ollie is super adorable and just mastered walking.

Owen loves having his picture taken and also spending time with Ben. Here he is reading to Ben. Owen was so sweet with him, as he was getting in the car seat to go to the airport to leave for Pittsburgh he said "Ben is going to miss me". I know I will.

I let Owen use my camera and showed him how to use the timer. He wanted to take a picture of himself. He wasn't super good at finding a good place to set the camera. Still. . .

Owen recruited Ollie to the photo shoot, but Ollie wasn't too pumped about it.

I know Ben will miss his cousins, and I'll miss being around all my family.

A Day at the Beach (sort of)

So, before I left Utah, Ben got to go on his first boating trip on my parents' boat. Along with us were my parents, Courtney, Lance, Owen, and Oliver. It was lots of fun. It's the law for Ben to be in a life jacket, so my dad bought the smallest one he could find for him to wear. Still, it was a little too big for him. On the plus side, he loves to suck on things but isn't too great at holding onto them. The life jacket was a built in chew toy. It was hard to get a shot of him not sucking on the life jacket. It's also nice that the jacket has a built in baby handle.

My mom with Owen and Ben

Ben generally enjoyed being on the boat. He loves the outdoors and bouncing and moving, so it was a perfect combination.

Ben's big cheeks getting squished by the life jacket.

Me with Owen and Ben, who is still sucking on the life jacket.

All in all, we had a great time. Oliver kept trying to jump in the water, which definitely made things interesting. The water was surprisingly warm and perfect for skiing.

Getting Settled, oh, and Ben's Adorable

So, I know people are itching for pictures of Ben. It has been a while since I posted any pictures or video. Unfortunately, our desktop is acting crazy and that's where all our pictures and videos are. I did finally put a whole bunch of stuff on Jon's laptop last night, so I'm hoping to get a bunch of pictures and videos up today.

As for news, Jon found us a great pediatrician who is also a teacher at the med school. We went in for Ben's 4 month check-up on August 21st. Big Ben tipped the scales at 18 lbs. 4 oz. which is 95th percentile for his age. He was 26 inches long which is about 80th percentile. The doctor said that he is really strong. Probably on account of when he went to bend Ben's knees to check his hips, Ben decided he didn't want to bend his knees and the doc really had to wrestle him. Anyway, Ben is still in the phase where he loves strangers and makes new friends everywhere he goes. He smiles at everyone. The doc says that usually changes at 6 months when stranger danger sets in. I guess we'll see.

Ben's newest tricks are that he learned to blow raspberries which has increased the amount of drool on his shirt and on me from substantial to epic. He is a total chatterbox and is pretty darn good at grabbing his toys and doing everything in his power to get them in his mouth.

As for Jon and me, we're doing great. Jon's enjoying school and loving being a dad. I love spending time with Ben and I always look forward to Jon coming home every day. I'm adjusting to being home every day. It's easier for me to procrastinate doing productive things, so I'm trying to teach myself not to procrastinate. Anyway, keep an eye out for pictures and videos, hopefully later today.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Rocking Rockford

So, I kind of get the feeling that people don't actually read my posts and are much more interested in the pictures. Not that I blame anyone for that, Ben is really adorable and I don't have that many great things to say. Anyway, I mention this because this post is going to be sadly picture-less. I just wanted to let people know that we are finally settled back together as a family in Rockford, IL, which is in Northern Illinios. We're actually pretty close to Wisconsin. We will be here for the next three years for 2nd through 4th years of Medical School.

Jon is pumped about this year of school, apparently his teachers seem a lot more caring, organized, and professional than last year. He's already started to do some prep for the USMLE boards that he has to take next summer in order to become a third year. He wants to do really well on it as that is something that residencies look at.

Our place is great apart from the mold growing in the basement. Jon has been working on cleaning that up so that our basement can house humans. He did a really good job cleaning the laundry room so that I could do the mountain of wash that had piled up over our first couple of days here. It was an interesting problem for me to encounter as I've always lived in such dry climates that mold growing on the walls was never a problem.

Ben seems to be adjusting to the new environment pretty well. He loves having his daddy around. We're trying to buy him a crib as he is much to big for his cradle now. I haven't had him weighed recently, although today is his 4 month birthday. I'm working on getting him a pediatrician. Jon's been asking the doctors at school who he should go to. Anyway, he is stinking adorable and so big. He loves to try and sit up and can do it for a couple of seconds at a time. He's even started to correct a little bit when he starts to lean off to the side. Unfortunately, he hasn't quite figured out that he can't kick his legs out and try to stand up or he will fall down. He's become pretty adept at grabbing things within his reach and promptly trying to put them in his mouth.

I'll post pictures and hopefully some video as soon as I can get around to it, but it might not be until the weekend.