Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween Flashback

Guess who?  Hahaha!
AAAAh SCARY!  I don't know why my brother doesn't have a costume on...I think he had stayed home with my dad that night to watch the Twins in the World Series while we were trick or treating...the year was 1987 I believe.


This is from just last year...I wish I had been home tonight to see the trick or treaters!  Last year Allan sat in the window and watched the action and many people said he was cute! 

Today all I did for Halloween was help hand out candy tonight at Andrea's.  Also, it was a huge candyfest at work.  I've had more exciting Halloweens but this one was OK I guess.  The kids didn't need to wear snowsuits out trick or treating so that makes this year stand out in my mind!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Dumpster Diving

 Halloween is tomorrow so this weekend was the weekend when many were celebrating.  Andrea had a party at her house which was fine for me since I can't drink anyway.  This doesn't mean that I lacked enthusiasm for a costume, however!  My original plan was to use my graduation robe from high school which is bright orange and go from there.  I was thinking of being a pumpkin or some sort of wizard.  I ended up being a cat...specifically an orange cat named Allan.  I made those ears, the tail, and the furry arm and leg...uhhh...warmers I guess they would be called.  It was pretty cute.  I think the ears look like they are from some other animal but I am not sure what.  I am still pretty proud of that striped tail. I tried to draw stripes like his on my face with eyeliner and the results were pretty mediocre but that's OK. 

On Saturday there was an important Bison game vs. the #2 team in the division.  The Bison were #3.  Well, we won and the #1 team lost somewhere in America so now I think we are #1!  It was a sell out game and I watched from the bar on TV while eating french fries and cheese balls.  It was a pretty wild game.  Everyone was very wound up afterwards and I really wished I could have indulged in the celebration which included a loud sing-a-long at a campus bar and lots of beer swilling and shots. blue Mercury taxi cab was in high demand!

It is always a fun experience to be following a team that is having a successful season.  Sometimes it happens to the MN Vikings (sometimes...), it was always a great time when our home town high school teams were having winning season, and it is happening again to NDSU like it did last year.  It is definitely something to look forward to every weekend and it is almost a certainty that there will be play off games added to the regular season which means more tailgating and fun to be had. 

Regarding the dumpster diving title, I found a treasure on Saturday.  Andrea and I were walking into the bar and we spotted this old chair sitting next to the dumpster.  I don't think it came from the bar (I have been visiting this place since I turned 21 and even before to eat and I have never seen a chair like this in there before).
 I love the vintage style of it and the wood is in good condition.  I examined it quickly to see if there were any deal breaking issues and it seemed fine and not rickety so I grabbed it and dashed to my car and tried to shove it in the trunk.  It didn't fit in my trunk so I had to put it in the back seat which added some complications to my driving services.  It was worth it though.  I can't wait to figure out what I am going to do with this thing.  The seat is covered with vinyl so maybe I will see if I can change it. 

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Last of the Garden

Our garden has ended its productivity for the season.  It was slightly better than last year.  Our zucchini plants actually produced the way zucchini plants are supposed to produce...rather excessively!  The potatoes were bountiful and the peas and beans were OK.  The peppers were stunted.  I don't think they got the sunlight they needed.  The carrots were completely overgrown by the potatoes and looked like pale, knarled little roots.  I think they need more sunlight than they can get in our back yard.  The tomatoes were late but they produced quite a few tomatoes.  

Before pulling out all the dying and dead plants, Justin harvested everything that was left after the last freeze.  This inlcluded a bag of green tomatoes.  Justin's mom told of an old technique she knows from her childhood which entails placing the green tomatoes between layers of newspaper.  It sounded legitimate and similar to the trick where you can ripen fruit by putting it in a brown paper bag.  I looked it up and many university extension sites validated the technique.  So I am trying it!  The websites I saw said that the tomatoes should not be touching each other.  They also said that each one should be individually wrapped.  I am too lazy to do that so if this doesn't work these will be going in the trash!  I think it will work though, especially for the ones already starting to turn. 

I love those bite sized grape tomatoes!  They are perfect for my lunch salads!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Weekend Travels

Over the weekend we went to South Dakota for a football game...NDSU v. SDSU.  Even when NDSU is really good they often end up losing to SDSU.  I saw on the news that we hadn't won a game in South Dakota since 1999.  Yikes.  Well, there was nothing to worry about because we won!  It was a perfect day to be at an outdoor football game.  It was a real outdoor college environment with rickety bleachers and little kids playing around on the practice field behind the stands.  The NDSU fans filled the whole visitors side!

 This pose is starting to be a tradition for us! 

We stayed with Justin's step brother Josh and his wife Kelsey (and our nephew Jack and thier two wacky yellow labs).  I dropped the ball and these are the only two photos I took of people.  I didn't even take a photo of the one year old Jack.  I did, however, take a few pictures of this little guy... 

That is Allan's new cousin Bob.  Josh and Kelsey live in the country and he is thier new resident garage mouse hunter and deterrent.  He is so cute and still a little kitten! 

I arrived back in Fargo just in time to watch the MN Vikings game where I saw this fabulous moment...

Really impressive Mr. Robison! At least it gave me a laugh!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Fat Cat On the Way to the Vet!

Allan's vet appointment on Tuesday was fine.  He got a shot and didn't get sick later and he was a good boy at the office.  The night before, I told Justin to get out his pet carrier so he could go get familiar with it again.  He snuggled right in!  Justin texted me this photo that night and I think it is so cute!  

That blanket is his "baby blanket" that the Humane Society sent home with him two years ago.  It is getting kind of raggy from repeated washings just like a human baby's blanket!  I just looked back at the calender and his two year "anniversary" of his adoption was October 15.  That two years really flew by.  Justin set that carrier down in the kitchen that evening and I opened the door and a skinny orange kitten/almost grown cat climbed right into my arms and was purring like crazy and also shaking with the fear of being in a new place!  I loved him right away...

In pregnancy news, nothing is really going on...I keep meaning to scan and post some ultrasound photos (just a few...I know that most people don't really care and think they all look the same!) but I haven't had a chance to scan them yet.  Apparently our hospital is one of the few stuck in the "old days" and we didn't get any digital copies of them.  Oh, and I have been awakened by painful leg cramps lately.  It doesn't happen every night but when it happens it is hurts!  I have experienced leg and foot cramps occasionally since my teenage years but these are different...I had one last night in my right calf and it was concetrated at the top of the muscle behind the knee and was almost pulsating!  Instead of relief after a few seconds this one kept cramping repeatedly every time I moved.  It still feel stiff.  I guess I will just have to live with it...I am already doing the things that are supposed to prevent this sort of thing...taking vitamins (so many vitamins!) eating fruit (so much fruit!) and drinking water and not much else besides my self imposed daily milk penance (I don't like milk).  Hopefully I sleep better tonight!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Big Shop

It has been awhile since I have had anything on here about my dad's ongoing farm shop project...I don't think anyone outside my family cares but I know those are the majority of the readers here so this is for their benefit!  This shop is looking fabulous...I think it looks so bright and clean (clean for now, is going to be a machine shop after all...)!  It also is cavernous.  It echos and is waiting to be filled with "shop stuff"! 

That is a little office/kitchen room.  That door on the left is going to be the bathroom which is in progress...

That is an 8 foot deep trench for the water line that cut across the farm yard, the driveway, and to the water source at the house.  I only saw that trench after the segment near the house and across the driveway had been closed but before that everyone had to park ahead of the trench in the driveway.  It also really threw the dog off!  He was afraid of it.  The water line to the old shop has always been noticeable because of the healthier, thicker green grass that follows it.  If that happens here that is going to be a long strip of lucious grass!

That lovely pit is for the septic system.  That ladder gives you an idea of how keep the hole is.  I know one will be great to have a third bathroom on the property!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Don't Tell Allan...

Allan is going to the vet tomorrow.  Justin gets the pleasure of taking him.  Since his adoption two years ago he has gone twice for routine visits and shots. He came to us already neutered so we didn't have to deal with that!   I took him the first time a few weeks after he arrived at our house.  It was no problem at all.  He was quiet in his pet carrier on the ride there and I think he might have even been sleeping.  He just sat there on the exam table while he got his shot and that was it. 

Last year Justin took him and it was a fiasco.  Their check in was overlooked and they ended up waiting for an hour.  He was meowing loudly the whole time and his leg got caught in the door of the pet carrier when the technition tried to take him out for the exam.  They were away from home for a long time and he ended up having an accident in his carrier on the way home which must have really made him uncomfortable!  That evening, he started acting really weird from his shots and was so lethargic that he laid on the couch for hours and wouldn't lift his head.  He wouldn't even eat a treat! 

Better luck tomorrow, Al!  I wish I could be there with him!

Last weekend we put his Halloween costume on him.  Last year he pawed it off his head as soon as it was on.  It has a green leafy collar too but I don't know where it is.  It probably wouldn't even fit on his fat neck anymore! cute...

Trying to bite and paw that dumb hat off his head...

Ahhhh...much better...

Friday, October 14, 2011

20 Week Photo

Well, here I am, looking pregnant at 20 weeks (give or take...I don't really know my due date yet except for sometime in the last two weeks of February...).  I bust out of my pants weeks ago and have been wearing spandex bands with my old jeans unzipped (these are a genius invention) and maternity pants.  Maternity pants don't stay up because my gut is constantly pushing them down so I have found the band more comfortable so far.  Actually, I find leggings and sweatpants the most comfortable but I can't wear those all the time! My shirts, even looser t-shirts, are starting to look inappropriate now as well.  

Half way there!  

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Let's Play "The Look For Less"!

I have been thinking about baby room decor lately.  The room is already painted a light blue/aqua color so I think it is going to stay that way.  I thought we could use different accent colors depending on the gender.  I imagined the light aqua with deep jewel tone purple and light pink shades for a girl and maybe the aqua with navy blue and orange shades for a boy.  I like orange as an accent with blue.  I like orange in general but I look really bad in it so I don't wear it. 

I saw this crib bumper in a Pottery Barn kids catalogue...

I like the subtle use of orange and many other colors too!  Very versatile!  It could match many different kinds of sheets.  Sooo...I wonder if I could make a crib bumber?  Haha it seems kind of daunting!  That quilt is cute too, but I am not too worried about having a quilt that perfectly matches the crib since babies are not supposed to sleep with blankets or stuffed toys or anything anymore because of the risk of suffocation.  So any quilts we recieve will be used for general swaddling and snuggling and floor playing (and as cold weather coverage!) at first anyway. 

Also, the floor is wood so we will need an area rug of some sort.  I don't really want anything overly cutesy so it can be used for an older kid as well.  I found this one at Land of Nod, which is the kids' division of Crate and Barrel. 

Some other cute options I found...


This is cute...I am mostly drawn to the colors....I kind of wish it was farm tractors and not construction machines!


The sunrise!  So cute!  The matching quilt features a tree, which I love. 


These colors would match the wall color perfectly!

Ooooh so cute! Very impractical but so cute!

If it were a girl...



Sigh...the girl merchandise is so appealing!  Probably because I am a girl!

The problem is that all this crap is very expensive!  I am drawn to expensive things!  So my challenge is to keep an eye out for similar items at accessible stores...and who knows what I might pull with my sewing machine! 

P.S. I grudgingly looked at JC Penney's website and actually found a few cute crib sets as well but they don't let you copy and past photos I tried to paste a link and it is all messed up!  One had an aqua sky background with tree branches and birds and another had colorful circles...I guess I shouldn't ignore the cheaper places!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

The Very Best Baby Name Book

Since the news has been revealed that we are having a boy, I think 80 percent of the people I have told have asked what the name is going to be.  Never mind that we have had less than two weeks to think about it. 

The answer to that is...No, we don't have a name picked out yet.  Even before we knew the gender I would aimlessly browse online baby name sites for ideas and it was overwhelming.  I did not want to spend $20 or more on one of the many books from a bookstore when I could find all of the same information many times over on the Internet.  I kind of feel the same about books like "What to Expect When You're Expecting", although I received a similar book from the doctor that i have referenced a few times. 

After the big gender reveal, however, I was feeling like this was a bit more serious.  Being on the computer all day at work makes it hard to stare at a screen after hours so I decided to stop at a thrift store after work last week and, sure enough, they had three different baby name books that were like new!  This one was the biggest so I handed over the $2.00 price and headed back to the couch for the night!

The Very Best Baby Name Book: 60,000+ Names
60,000 names, I thought!  There must be something in here that will catch my eye!  Well, holy crap, this book is overwhelming.  There are some fun lists at the beginning, including lists of popular names in various countries from 2005 and popular American names by decade dating back to 1900.  But once you turn to the boy and girl alphabetical sections the selection is so diverse that it is hard to find one "normal" name per page!  Here is an example of a page from the boy section:


Ummmm...OK...see what I mean?  Of course, the name Baiei is adorable and all, (it is of Palauan origin, and means "guest house".  Who would name their child Guest House?) and I think Baco might be fitting (it is Greek for "he who creates disturbances") for a baby.  I will add that the name Balder refers to a god in Skandinavian mythology and I met a Norwegian student when I was there in 2006 who had named her dog that which was cute.  I think the only name that I would even consider in that list would be Bailey and I am not considering it.  Maybe 60,000 names is too many to read through...

Here are a few recent and not so serious suggestions from family members...

Marcus Williams after the Bison player who has been a real stud lately and played a big part in their victory over the University of Minnesota a few weeks ago.  He is from the Minneapolis area and was shunned by the U during recruiting time.  Then he owned their a$$es when he got the chance. 

Jacob Allan after some of the family pets.  How sweet.

Ford Escort don't want to know.

Chico-Ocho Francisco Allan, which Justin made up. 

So anyway, we haven't really committed to any names!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Oooooh Crap....

I can feel it throat has been burning all day and I have a familiar feeling in my much as I want to deny it and avoid it I am getting a cold.  This is not going to be good.  Most of the good meds are off limits, including my beloved Nyquil.  I haven't looked at my materials from the Dr. yet but I think it would also be best to avoid the always effective psuedoephedrine.  I researched it online and it sounds like something that I should be avoiding right now.  Acetaminophin is safe but what good does that do when you have serious congestion?  Nothing, that's what!  Sigh...please immune system fight this virus before it escalates! 

Who knows when I will post this time tomorrow I might be so miserable that I won't feel like doing anything. 

I know what would make me feel better!  Seeing this guy!

Monday, October 3, 2011


Does anyone remember that commercial from the 1990's for 1-800-COLLECT or some other collect call service?  In the commercial, the father saves money when calling family members from a payphone at the hospital to share the news of  their baby's birth..."Collect call from Mr. Wehadababyitsaboy"...

Well that is what we are going to be saying in February!  We found out last Wednesday at my first ultrasound that the baby is indeed a boy!  Hearing that news is one crazy moment...

I thought the ultrasound was fascinating except for that whole "full bladder" aspect.  I have heard that some women didn't have to have a full bladder for theirs.  I guess it depends on the hospital.  I was told to drink 30 ounces of water that morning and finish one hour before the appointment.  Whoever made that guideline doesn't know me...I could have drank  half of that water about 20 minutes before the appointment and had a full bladder.  The hospital is downtown so we walked about 2 blocks to the front entrance and I almost lost control.  I ended up going before the appointment anyway but it was fine...the technition could see it filling up again before her eyes during the appointment. 

Seeing those little bones and limbs was so reassuring (and made me realize even more how much I need to be consuming protein and calcium!).  All the parts were there and we even saw him point his little finger!  She had trouble getting a good shot of heart so there will be another ultrasound later.  I looke forward to seeing what the baby looks like then!  Right now it looks like Skeletor.  It weighed 8 ounces, although I have no idea how they can measure that! 

The regular monthly appointment that morning went fine.  The women's center is on the third floor of the building and there was a fire drill right after I finished depositing my montly urine sample.  We had to go down the fire escape.  Justin was one of only men on the floor!  After that the appointment continued as usual.  Fortunately, I was wearing my regular clothes and not a gown!  They estimated that I was 18 weeks along (now 19 weeks) and everything was fine.  The baby's heart was still making its whooshing sound...148 at the ultrasound and 160 at the appointment (the three flight stair climb might have had something to do with that!) and I am packing on the pounds and seeing numbers on that scale that I have never seen before! 

This weekend was NDSU's homecoming and there were many photos taken.  This shot made me realize how pregnant I am starting to look!  Yikes!  Don't worry...that is just water that I am drinking...that is all I drank all Saturday night I was so tired of sipping water that I thought I never wanted to drink it again!  More about the weekend in a later post...