Friday, November 7, 2008


Me and my great-nephew, Rolen

So, we're going to continue with kid week here at Ate Up Amateur because, well, I know lots of kids, I was just home in Indiana where I have gads of kid relatives, and I have several photos I'd like to share. At some point - if I can ever get caught up on my photos - I plan to also post about other things. Buildings, leaves, butterflies, general photos of stuff I'm doing, etc. You know, the usual. So, if you're not a fan of cute kids, hang in there. We'll move on eventually.

My oldest niece is Amber. She is the daughter and oldest child of my oldest brother Bob and his wife Sherri. She recently became a mom herself, - to Rolen Alexander. That's right - that makes me a Great Aunt. And my brother a GRANDPA. We're all pretty spread out age-wise around the family, so there are always kids around, it seems. A new generation has begun.

And, while I didn't have the pleasure of visiting with them when I was up last, I did get to see their little guy for a few moments because he was hanging out at Steve and Terri's house when we swung by before heading out of town for the day. Since he's only almost three months old, I can pretty much include all the photos I have from his entire life in one post at this point. So here we go.

When I was in Indiana in May, Amber was still pregnant with Rolen.

Amber in May - taken with the camera phone.

By the time I visited in August, he had just been born. He was about a week old, I think. He's named after baseball player Scott Rolen, who is originally from Jasper, Indiana. This Rolen's father, John, is a huge baseball fan, I understand. Hence, the name.

Newborn Rolen, resting in his Grandpa's lap.

Amber's younger brother is in high school, and a proud uncle. Austin, of course, is also my nephew.

Rolen and Uncle Austin

He was incidentally, the ring bearer in our wedding. He was the right age for ring bearing, so he was the ring bearer at my younger brother Steve's wedding a year before ours. At their wedding, we asked him to be in our wedding. He said, "Oh no, not again!" But, then, S promised him a basketball and that sealed the deal. Bribes work on small children. Amber was one of our house party at the wedding as well.

Rolen and Austin napping later in the day.

I remember when Austin was born. I was in college. He was born in January when I was home for winter break so I got to go to the hospital and meet him. It was so cool. I went back to school with tons of photos of him, telling all my friends all about my new nephew Austin James. When I see my friends from college, they often ask about him - that's how many times I hit them up to check out the photos. I always tell them he's fine and how old he is at the moment. And, then we all feel old for a second. College could not have been that long ago, could it?

S and Austin bonded early in his life. Austin and S used to carry on long detailed conversations when he was like 2 or 3. I remember, when my grandmother died that S entertained Austin in the corner of the funeral home for hours, just talking things over. I have no idea what sorts of things they had to talk about for hours on end, but they both seemed to enjoy it.

Amber and Rolen

One summer a few years ago Amber came to stay with us for a few weeks. As it so happened, during her stay, I had a trip to New York for work, followed by a gala benefit at work that I had to attend. So, Amber jet setted to New York with S and me and we made a long weekend of it, then returned to Dallas for the soiree.

Amber, Rolen and John

Amber got all dolled up and was a favorite of the camera crew at the event. She was the belle of the ball. They snapped her all night long. But, we had to tell her over and over that jet setting to NY for the weekend and attending fancy galas was not a normal set of circumstances in our lives. We did not do that all the time, or really, ever. She just happened to hit it exactly right. Most of the time, we lead pretty boring lives, which I am pretty sure she still doesn't believe.

Amber, Rolen, John

I remember when Amber was born. I was in Middle School. And, I couldn't wait to see photos of her and meet her in person. At the time she was born, my brother and sister-in-law were living in Arizona. Bob was in the Air Force, finishing up a four year gig. He lived in Germany for the first two years, and then moved to Arizona where he met Sherri. I remember writing to him when he lived overseas and even when he lived in Arizona. It was so cool to have a brother in Europe and in the Air Force! He wrote us back, too. And, when you're a little kid, nothing is cooler than getting mail.

While Amber was still a wee one, they moved back to Indiana. Since she was the first grandchild of her generation, she had lots of attention and the whole family thought she was pretty much the cutest thing ever. And, of course she was! She visited me once when she was in grade school and I still lived in Austin. That was a fun visit too - no trips to other states then, though.

As I mentioned, when I was in Indiana last week, Rolen was down at Steve and Terri's for the afternoon while mommy and daddy Amber and John ran some errands. The kids had fun just looking at him. (Veda was at school.)

Deacon, Rolen and Cora

Rolen checking out Cora

It is a universal truth, I think, that little kids thing older kids are cool. Even almost three month old Rolen follows this truth - look at him checking Cora out up there!

And Cora thought he was pretty cool, too.

Rolen checking out the big kids again.

Here, he feigned interest in whatever it was I was doing over there.

A little laugh - the photo's a little blurry, but it was a cute face.

After a bit, we turned him over on his stomach for some tummy time. Boy, was he holding that head up and looking around! I got on the floor and snapped a few head-on photos.

Holding that head up.

He was telling us all about it here. I love this one.

And, the very familiar, "Hey lady - do you ever put that camera down?" look.
I know it well. I know how to ignore it. Look at those blue eyes!

He got hungry, as little ones are apt to do, while he was visiting, so Terri, my sister-in-law, fed him a bottle.

Terri and Rolen

Terri, Rolen, and big helper Cora

Then, Cora fed him too. I know he appreciated it.

That wraps up all the photos of Rolen in one post. He'll grow and change before I see him again in December at the holidays, so I'll update you on the little guy again after the first of the year.

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