Monday, June 21, 2010

BabyBear's Birthday Bash: One Year Old!!

Happy First Birthday, BabyBear!
Last week we celebrated our beloved BabyBear's one year birthday! We can't believe it came so quickly!! Thanks to Robbie Rogers, Thursday we were able to get some pictures taken on Baylor's campus outside Waco Hall- more of which you can see here (on a side note, read more about Waco Hall's 80th birthday in the latest issue of the Baylor Magazine, hitting mailboxes soon). He's growing up so much!! Definitely looking more like a little boy every day and less like a baby. When people say the time flies, they are really not kidding. According to unofficial numbers (i.e., taken by mom and dad at home), BabyBear is now 28.5 inches tall and weighs 19 pounds.

On Saturday we had BabyBear's first birthday party, and I think everyone enjoyed themselves (I hope anyway). :) Our families, neighbors and Lifegroup had some great food (thanks everyone, it was yummy!) and fun celebrating the big day with BabyBear.

As you may have guessed, the theme of the party was the card game UNO (as in, BabyBear's birthday numero uno). I found about six decks of UNO cards (some 1980s original and some newer) and with those was able to make the invitations, banners and most of the other decorations for the party.

Two of BabyBear's favorite things right now are straws and balloons, so I wanted to incorporate those things into the party. The balloons were easy enough; we blew up a bunch of clusters and hung them all over the house. We also bought some helium-filled ones and let those wander around from room to room (the kids enjoyed those a lot). We hung UNO cards from each balloon and two from each cluster and I really like the way it came out. When BabyBear woke up from his nap and came out before the party he loved seeing all the balloons. That totally made my day!!!
The straws were a bit trickier. I ended up ordering some loopy, crazy straws from a nice gentleman in England via eBay and then added some labels with each guest's name on them. These worked really well as party favors and also as markers to distinguish one person's beverage from another! BabyBear really liked his crazy straw too. In fact, he's still carrying it around the house on occasion.

BabyBear had a carrot cake cupcake with cream cheese icing (recipe is here if anyone is interested) and while it took him a little while to decide that it was food, once he tasted it, he polished it off in no time and with very little mess. See what I mean?

Facebook viewers, click here.

He didn't get to try any of the chocolate zucchini cake (recipe is here if anyone is interested- I used all King Arthur's Whole Wheat flour) this time around, because he really liked the carrot cake. We'll save the chocolate cake for another day, I think...if there's any left.

A HUGE thank you goes out to Grams, Gramps, Grandma and all the others who helped or made something for the party. Without you there would not have been nearly as many balloons blown up, banners made or hung well, or UNO cards strewn about the house, and there would have been a lot less food that probably wouldn't have been quite so tasty. You guys are wonderful and we really appreciate everything you did to help make BabyBear's day special!

After the big party, we enjoyed a few hours together with family we hadn't seen in a few months. It was definitely fun times!

Happy Birthday, BabyBear!

Feel free to click here to peruse a gallery of pictures from the day.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

My two cents on keeping the Big 12 together

It's been a crazy week for the Big 12 Conference (now down to 10 teams, after Nebraska and Colorado jumped ship). Based on reports, it seems likely that several more teams may leave this week, with Texas and Oklahoma taking Texas Tech, Oklahoma State and possibly Texas A&M to the Pac-10. (TAMU could instead head to the SEC on its own.) That would leave Baylor, Iowa State, Kansas, Kansas State and Missouri to either prop up the Big 12 with additional teams, merge with another conference as a group, or go their own separate ways individually.

Almost all of the 10 schools remaining have pledged their loyalty to the Big 12 in recent days:

"... we are focused on keeping the Big 12 together and maintaining the rivalries that we have enjoyed with our (three) Big 12 Texas brothers."
BU AD Ian McCaw

"We believe the Big 12 Conference is the perfect fit for Iowa State University. We are committed to our membership in the Big 12 ..."
ISU President Dr. Gregory Geoffroy & AD Jamie Pollard

"We at Kansas Athletics know that the Big 12 is one of the best conferences in the country, and we are confident about its future. I appreciate all of those at KU who have worked very hard to keep the Big 12 at the forefront of intercollegiate athletics. We all must stay patient and let this process take its course, but at the end of the day I am convinced that the Big 12 will remain, as it is today, a national leader."
KU AD Lew Perkins

"As long as there's a Big 12, we are absolutely committed to the Big 12."
KSU AD John Currie

"We are working diligently to maintain the long-term viability of the Big 12 Conference."
MU AD Mike Alden

"I think there's still a way for us [the Big 12] to stick together and be viable."
OU AD Joe Castiglione

"Our goals and hopes all along have been to keep the Big 12 Conference intact."
Texas AD DeLoss Dodds

"... it is still our choice to keep the remaining 10 Big-12 schools together if we can."
TAMU AD Bill Byrne

(Only OSU and TT have not spoken publicly on the matter, clearly keeping their mouths closed so they don't mess up their free rides into other conferences alongside OU and UT. But if those latter two schools don't go anywhere, then neither are the Cowboys and Red Raiders.)

So, schools, if you want to stick together, and it's in your power -- why don't we just call this done and stick together???

Worried about money? The networks have already indicated that each school would make more money than they do now, even in a 10-team league, when contracts are renegotiated in the next year or two.

Worried about status? Nebraska's a loss when it comes to football, but not irreplaceable, and Colorado likely won't be missed at all. A 10-team league anchored by Texas and Oklahoma absolutely keeps its automatic BCS qualifier. Toss in Baylor, KU and KSU, and you've got one of the strongest basketball leagues in the country, as well. And that doesn't even include the possibility of adding teams, now or in the future.

The answer is clear, schools (and I'm looking mostly at you, Texas): If you really mean it when you say you're committed to the Big 12, then prove your honesty and integrity and let's make this happen. The sooner, the better.

Friday, June 11, 2010

BabyBear's Newest Discovery

Hopefully this shows up for you guys...He did eventually fall asleep by the way :)

Sunday, June 6, 2010

BabyBear's first visit to the Mayborn Museum

Baylor's Mayborn Museum was having a "free day" today (no admission charged), so we thought we would take BabyBear and check out the new Lego exhibit. Unfortunately, "free day" equals "busy day," and BabyBear's approaching naptime meant we had to leave before we were able to see the Lego exhibit. We'll have to go back for that.

BabyBear was probably still a little bit young for most of the exhibits and activities, but definitely was interested in what was going on, if a little overwhelmed by the crowd. For instance, here's a short video of him attempting to push a shopping cart while others race around the room.

He had fun banging on a drum and petting a bison, and he got to see a BabyBear-sized replica of the Liberty Bell (appropriate, eh?). But his favorite thing was simply standing on the second-floor balcony overlooking the model train exhibit. We're not sure if he was that interested in the trains, or the people, or just the unusual viewpoint, but he seemed like he would have been content there for a long time. See?

Click here for some photos from the outing. Today may have been BabyBear's first visit to Mayborn, but it certainly won't be his last.