Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Memorial Weekend

We had a pretty boring long weekend.  The weather was crappy and colder than it was in March around here and rainy most of the time.  Justin's birthday was on Saturday so now he is the same age as me again...what a relief!  Him being a year younger than me makes me uncomfortable! 

To celebrate, we watched a commemorative DVD of the NDSU football season in our basement.  I recall Justin's 21st birthday back in 2004.  We pre-drank with our housemates (this was the summer I lived at AGR.  He didn't really live there because his job wasn't located in Fargo) until midnight.  These were the old, carefree power hour days before people started freaking out about 21 year olds drinking too much on thier birthdays.  You know, you have to coddle grown adults as long as possible, right?  But my opinion on drinking age is a whole other topic...before we headed out at midnight I remember drinking a bottle of orange flavored Boone's Farm wine.  Haha trashy...and I was already 21!  That makes it even worse!

This was our party this year...

Ben loved that movie...

Flattering angle, right?!

Oh, what else...I put Ben in his Bumbo chair for the first time.  I researched these a bit and apparently some experts think they are detrimental because of the posture they put the baby in.  Ugh,'s always something.  It's not like he sits in it for longer than a few minutes at a time.  For now it is an instant fuss stopper because it is something new. 

 So fun!

I like this one because he has his elbow up on the arm rest like a grown up!  Haha...

On Monday Nana and Grandpa came to visit.  They left this morning.  Since they were here and played with Ben all day I was able to do my own thing and managed to cut pieces for a quilt I have been wanting to start for about a month.  It was fun.  Now I have to find the opportunity to sew it together which might prove to be impossible.  We shall see!

Also this weekend...we now have garden #2 planted in our old plot in our shady backyard.   

 Another year, another attempt...

The peonies are blooming.  I love this time of year.  The blooms are so large!  It is tempting to cut some for a vase in the house but the ant situation is just too gross for me.  I wonder why ants like them so much?!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Baby Clothes

Baby clothes...who doesn't love them!  They are, of course, so cute and fun to buy as gifts.  I have, in the past, avoided buying clothes as baby gifts because the wisdom says that "everyone else" gives them because they can't resist either and the baby just outgrows them right away anyway and they only end up getting worn a few times.  As the recipient of many gifts over the past few months (on behalf of Ben) I have to admit that I have loved getting lots of baby clothes.  No big surprise, I guess, since I love clothes myself so I love my child having a diverse wardrobe that allows him to be ready for any occasion!  Too bad he doesn't have a closet since the closet in his room is full of my clothes!  Don't worry...he has two dressers that can accomodate everything. 

On the always entertaining Babycenter message boards there is lots of confusion about baby clothing sizes.  Moms fixate on the difference between Newborn (NB) and 0-3 months and if there is a difference between 0-3 months and 3 months and if their baby is "freakish" because he or she wears 6 months clothes as a 2 month old and I have seen a few people say that their 2 month old already wears 9 and 12 month outfits (I think they might be lying but who knows!).  Instead of getting confused about this my game plan is just to have the baby wear whatever fits and not care about the sizes. 

My observations about baby clothes have been that my baby is pretty true to size but with some variations just like any human.  He will be three months old in a little over a week and has almost outgrown most of the 0-3 months outfits but I keep having him wear them because they make me nostalgic!  He has transitioned into some 3-6 month onesies and sleepers and pants which are really loose around the waist because he is skinny but the three months pants look like clown pants because they are getting short.  I saw some pictures of other babies Ben's age on Babycenter that looked really rolly polly and I was kind of jealous because I always imagined having a fat baby but I guess there is plenty of time for him to get fat in the next few months! 

In the world of baby clothes there are a few major are my observations...if you don't have had a baby you probably won't give a rat's you know what about this but if you do you will probably be interested so read on if you want...

-The most popular brand that you can find everywhere is Carters.  Some malls even have a Carters store.  The original Carters has excellent quality and very cute designs.  I love the unique color combinations and themes they have that step away from the usual pastel teddy bear/duck themes.  For example, Ben just got a cute outfit with a smiling shark on it and they have a safari themed layette that we have may peices from that is pretty cute.  It is good quality and doesn't get faded and stretched and the crotch snaps are reinforced.  It seems to pretty true to size...maybe a bit on the small side but nothing major.  Carters also has brands called "Just One You"  and "Precious Firsts" that are made just for Target and also "Child of Mine" which is sold at Walmart.  And also I just learned that OshKosh is part of the Carters company as well.  I wish I worked for Carters!  They seem to own the baby clothes market!  I could design baby clothes!  Update...I just looked and they only have offices in Connecticut, Georgia and New York...dang! 

-Of course, there is also Gerber.  If you think of baby products you probably thing of Gerber right away.  Clothing doesn't seem to be the major focus of Gerber but they have some.  The main Gerber styles I have seen are the multi-packs of onesies and similar basics.  They are perfectly fine and good quality except they run very small.  This is one brand where Ben does wear the 9 month size already.  So, if you are gifting anything Gerber don't even bother with the small stuff unless it is for a preemie or something.

-Circo is sold at Target and is the biggest and roomiest brand I have seen.  The garments are very wide.  Ben will be able to wear the 3 month sizes for probably another month or two in this brand.  The styles are very fun and bright. 

-First Moments is sold at Kohls.  The sleepers are nice because Ben's feet stay in the "footies".  They must have a narrow ankle opening.  In the Carters fleece sleepers he always gets his feet tangled when kicking.  They also have cute color combos and themes and the "boy" ones are not so boyish that a future sister couldn't wear them. 

-Gap and Old Navy have alot of cute merchandise but we don't have much from there.  They seem true to size and have lots of sporty styles like polo shirts.  Ben just got a cute summer outfit that is brown and yellow that is really adorable for a "dressy" occasion! In the future when we are no longer showered with gifts I can see myself shopping at these places for kids clothes. 

-The Children's Place has many cute outfits that don't have as many of the over the top themes and slogans (sports, farm animals, jungle, "Daddy's/Mommy's  Princess/Rookie") that many lines have.  The clothes there are like mini big kid clothes which is fun.  Also, I always imagined that it was expensive but I walked through there for the first time recently and it seemed pretty cheap to me!  I will probably shop there in the future as well. 

-I haven't had much experience with Gymboree because we don't have one here.  It looks cute though.  There are a few other brands that I have obtained, such as Bon Bebe, Garanimals and the oddball name brands (Calvin Klein, Puma) from TJ Maxx.  My family members are, as the commercials say, Maxxinistas!  I can't think of anything specific about these brands except, of course, that they are cute! 

OK, Ben is away so that means computer time is over for now!  Sigh...

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Fashion...Baby and Post Baby

As the weeks grow between the time when I weighted almost 200 pounds and was growing out of many of my maternity clothes and the present I have been enjoying wearing my "normal" clothes again.  As many of you know, I have alot of clothes and have constantly lamented about my small closets and lack of storage to accomodate these clothes.  It has been great to wear them again.  Getting dressed in the morning is still fun after all these weeks!  I guess I should clarify that wearing my shirts is fun after all these weeks.  The jeans situation is not too good...I have three pairs of jeans out of the towering stacks in the closet that fit.  I got out my summer stash and have one pair of capris and a few pairs of shorts that actually zip and a whole tub that still don't work.  Fortunately, I have several elastic waist skirts and a selection of gym clothes to fill in the holes. 

Another positive (or maybe it's a negative since I don't have a job!) is that shopping is fun again and I can actually try things on.  The merchandise in the stores is kind of fun this spring and there is a crazy trend that makes me feel pretty old but also intrigues me...neon colors are back in style again!

They were last in style back in the early 1990s which corresponds with an exciting time in my family's January of 1990, as many of you know, we travelled to the middle east, specifically to Sanaa, the capitol city of Yemen, for my dad's job as a petroleum engineer.  I was in first grade when we left the cold midwest and also left our winter coats, boots, and flannel sheets and took with us huge duffel bags from a military supply store filled with our wardrobes of warm weather clothes. 

Somewhere along our flight to Yemen the duffel bag with my wardrobe in it got lost (if you think a lost bag in the U.S. is a challenge imagine the challenge in the Middle East!).  So we arrived, jet lagged and disoriented, and I didn't have any clothes besides what I was wearing and the spare outfit in my carry on.  And almost right away we had a party to go to, thrown by the other foreign families, to welcome us. 

Here is me and Andrea at the party in our fabulous neon 1990 outfits and if I remember correctly I think my outfit was actually one of Andrea's outfits because I didn't have any clothes.  Our hair is stringy and straight because that day the electricty went out, which was a common occurence in the city, and we couldn't head the curling irons.  I don't remember this, but my mom, embarassed to meet new people with unfixed hair, heated the curling iron over the gas burners in the kitchen and fixed her hair but let it slide for us!  Years later, during my first days in Norway, I tried this same trick when I didn't have the proper adapter for my curling iron!

So anyway, back to the clothes.  Just looking at that picture makes me want to describe everything, such as how our houses were in traditional neighborhoods surrounded by walls and people would beg at our gates believing that as Americans we had money to spare.  We were like a freak show to the other people in the neighborhood.  I remember looking out my bedroom window and the whole family in the garden next door was waving up at me.  So of course, I waved back!  With my red hair and winter white complexion I was quite an oddity.  And I guess, compared to the people at the gate, we did.  Instead of grass, as you can see, the yards were made of marble with garden beds and at our house the beds contained the usual annual plants we know, like geraniums and snapdragons, that never died because it never got cold, and they grew into large bushes that you watered by filling trenches since rarely rained.  We didn't have to take care of this duty because we had a gardener that came every week and also a housekeeper named Amina who would come and clean the vast expanses of marble floors and also became our favorite babysitter when my parents went somewhere at night.  But I could tell details about Yemen could be its own blog.  The short conclusion is that we ended up cutting our time their short when the Gulf War started escalating and my mom and siblings and I stayed in America after a late summer trip home after my dad got called and told to make arrangements for us to stay because it wasn't safe there anymore.  He stayed until the following spring, through the January escalation of Operation Desert Storm when he and his co-workers gathered their essential belongings and documents and gathered in one place for a few nights in case they needed to make a fast escape when the bombing started not too far away in Saudi Arabia.  Meahwhile, I was oblivious to this detail as my mom talked on the phone out of earshot and I watched the green night vision footabe of bombs and missles blasting over Iraq.  As you all know, he made it back safely and bombs never fell in Yemen and he returned to the U.S. on April 4 of 1991 which is also my birthday!

Right...the clothes...when we exited the plane in Chicago for that trip home in July of 1991 I was greeted with neon everywhere!  It was like a party for the eyes after living in the ancient earth toned (and beautiful) city of Sanaa with not a Target store in sight.  My suitcase had eventually been retrieved after my dad went to the airport and spotted it behind a desk in a cavernous warehouse containing mountains of bags.  After trying to reason with the man at the desk who probably didn't speak much English he finally walked back there and took the bag which probably would have caused him to be arrested in the U.S. and when I returned from school that day my clothes were neatly folded in the living room and I was thrilled.  I had since obtained several cute outfits from the stores in Sanaa which included cute denim shirt and skirt sets with fun beads and sparkly embelishments and if I remember correctly my mom had made a few dresses from some pretty fabric from the markets there.  Although I don't know where she found a sewing machine!  I can't remember if she had one or not because all of our belongings that had been shipped showed up late like my suitcase.  When I saw the crazy neon colors in the airport I immediately knew that I wanted neon and lots of it!  I wanted neon shoes and ovesized neon t-shirts with those lame rings for cinching them at the side like a knot and leggings and whatever other dumb crap people wore in the 90's.  And soon I had it...I even had spandex shorts with an attached skirt that was leopard print with a multi-colored neon background and my cousin and sister had matching ones which we wore as we spent the summer watching "The Little Mermaid" every day in our grandparents' basement and eating dairy bar ice cream treats after swimming at the pool and pretending we were mermaids. 

So this neon trend really brings me back to a unique time.  I can truly say that every time I see neon I think of that summer of our vacation/permanent move home from Yemen and the months to follow when my dad was still there and the middle east was all over the news and I was starting my 3rd new school in a year.  I like the neon this time is understated and mixed with neutrals like black or grey.  All you need is a little splash of it here or there!  It is even showing up in baby clothes!  Ben has several items with neon...

This picture was taken when he was about 4 weeks old I think...he wore that sleeper last night for probably the last time because the length was at capacity!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012


Marathon weekend has passed.  I finished!  Did I forget to mention that between having the longest pregnancy ever, having abdominal surgery and learing how to take care of and nurse my first child I was also running between 5 and 20 miles every day!  Yeah!  I only took a few days off after Ben's birth and this weekend I ran 26.2 miles! 

Haha...riiight...the most exercise I have done since Ben's birth has been swimming laps at the Y for 30 minutes max.  The most challenging part is having to be seen in a swimming suit!  However, like I mentioned on Friday, I knew a few participants including my mom, sister and brother in law who all ran the half marathon (my mom has done quite a few now and it was Andrea's second and Kirk's first).  They all finished and did fine.  My mom has done better but was happy with her performance.  Andrea finished in a little over 2 hours and Kirk finished in under 2 hours which is quite good.  Sadly, I never saw any of them in action because we kept missing them everywhere we looked.  This weekend turns Fargo into a cluster F of chaos, crowds, traffic jams and road closings and getting anywhere is a fiasco.  At the Fargodome there are people everywhere all looking for other people which makes the phone signals go crazy so it is hard to get ahold of anyone. 

And then there was my dad.  He has been training for the full marathon for months and he has succeeded!  Holy crap, I can't imagine it.  Justin and Ben and I were able to catch a glimpse of him running downtown at mile 23, which was conveniently located in front of our favorite Chinese restaurant.  Yes, we chowed down on Chinese food while thousands of people were running.  He was able to see the sign I so painstakingly made from printed word documents and clipart and Ben was there shrieking to encourage him on!

We caught his finish back at the dome...he is the big guy near the pillar.  The guy in the red is his co-worker and training partner.  They ran the whole race together.  He had done a marathon before. 

I imagine that entering this building must be the best feeling ever after such an endeavor!


I included this one because that is my mom and Andrea and Kirk in the background...see?  They look perfectly fresh! 

Grandpa and Grandma's biggest fan!

Oooh...a fun dangly thing...

Back at Andrea's Grandpa Tim relaxed with his buddies for a few minutes before we headed out to eat.  What a relief!  The all said they were glad to have the free time now that training is over although I am sure they will all continue running to some extent after a few days (or weeks!) off. 

Ben was a very good baby this weekend.  First, he behaved himself all day while we dragged him around town to watch the race.  On Sunday I attended my hometown high school graduation for the first time in years because a boy I used to babysit regularly for five years graduated.  This event never seems to change.  Every year, the same arrangement of "Pomp and Circumstance" is played and I remember how it looks on the sheet music because I played it at every graduation starting when I was in 7th grade.  I played trumpet and the trumpet part is really fun because of the fanfare at the beginning!  Twenty-three seniors paraded in and got weepy and the full gym got hot and it was just like every other time I have sat in that hot and crowded gym. 

After the ceremony we had 8 graduation parties to attend.  Well, there were 7 parties because there were cousins that had a joint party.  Ben was held, fussed over and passed around to many interested friends and neighbors as we enjoyed the parties in tents and garages and ate all the delicious party foods.  He was fed bottles by people he had never met and had his diaper changed in strange living rooms and was in a perfectly good mood all day.  It made the day very enjoyable.  He is such a good boy!

In addition to the graduation excitement, the high school baseball team made it to the state tournament last night.  I wish it were in Bismarck but sadly it is not...Ben is wearing one of his several baseball themed outfits to celebrate today. 

Only five more years until he can play t-ball!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Go Grandpa! Go Grandma!

I don't have time for a long post right now...I am trying to get everything together for a weekend getaway, with takes all morning now when it used to take 1/2 an hour.  Ben finally dozed off so I have been running around like crazy trying to pack. 

We are going to watch my parents run in the Fargo marathon.  They have done several half marathons but this time is different because my dad is going for the big one...26.2 miles! I truly cannot imagine running far.  He has been training for awhile and ran home from work one night which is 22 miles so I guess he is as ready as one can be!  My sister and brother in law are running the half also so we will be the only family spectators except my brother. 

I made this sign very hastily last night.  How do you like my 1990's era Office clipart?  It could use some more pizazz but I don't know what else to do with it...I was going to make Ben a shirt but his shirts are so tiny there wouldn't be room to write anything!
I decided to just print and cut after this happened...

Ugh for embarassing.  Yes, I spelled Grandpa wrong and also my freehand letters
looked terrible.  I can be mildly artistic if I take time but I did not feel like doing that last night so printouts it was!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Norway Memories

I was thinking about the date this morning and realized it is the 6th anniversary of the day I left for Norway to study abroad back in 2006.  I think I have posted about this in previous years so I am not going to do a full photo montage.  I just looked back at my photos and cannot believe how long it has been since I was that fresh faced, beer swilling, carefree 23 year old whose jeans were always loose.  Ahh, those were the days. 

Here I am with the most famous statue at Vigeland Park.  Then, I thought it was a funny statue.  Now, I think, "That is what my kid looks like about 50% of the time!"

Aaahhh...beautiful Western Norway.  It is hard to believe my ancestors, who I have discovered came from places all over the country, watched views like this as they sailed away to America. 

I WILL go back there someday.  Who knows when, but I will.  And I will still remember how to get to my favorite places in Oslo and be able to act as a tour guide to whoever is lucky enough to join me!  I could do so now if someone would buy me the ticket!  Anyone?  ANYONE?

Monday, May 14, 2012

"Freedom, Son, Is a Dirty Shirt"

That title is a verse from the song "Shackled and Drawn" which is on Bruce Springsteen's new CD that just came out...the whole verse says, "Freedom, son, is a dirty shirt, the sun on your face and a shovel in the dirt, shovel in the dirt keeps the devil gone..."

The song isn't about gardening at all but the verse was going through my head all weekend because that's what we did all weekend! We worked outside and planted our garden and planted flowers in our planters!  I get a kick out of the spring gardening experience.  I love going to the greenhouse and buying the plants and seeds and I love arranging the flowers in planters.  And of course I love the promise of delicious fresh vegetables as the summer progresses. 

Here is what we bought at the greeenhouse.  It is kind of early to be planting.  I know that I usually have planted flowers around Memorial Day.  The plants in the greenhouse we visited were not as mature as they usually are so there are fewer blooms on the plants and the tomato and pepper plants we bought are still very small. 

The plants always look so little and spindly during the early days!  It is hard not to put too many plants in one pot...I tend to make this mistake every year and one poor little plant ends up withering away as the stronger ones take over.  It seems like they fill out overnight and one day you just notice that they are huge.  Patience, patience...

This one looks good!  Haha, that one is a trick.  That is an assortment of house plants that were given to us when Ben was born.  It was growing in a little basket and needed to expand. 

There is a flower bed in front of the house that borders the walkway.  We planted irises in there a few years ago.  They have really taken over.  The plants are huge...taller than knee height!  The flowers are so beautiful...I wish bulbs would bloom all summer long and not just in the spring!

The color is so nice on these!

As for the vegetable garden, we decided to rent a plot in the city garden after two years of mediocre results in our back yard.  It only costs $10.00!  Most vegetables require more sun than they were getting back there.  We are still going to plant some seeds back there but the real sun loving plants went in our new plot. 

I can't wait for this to look like a jungle of tomatoes and peppers and celery!

The city gardens are very convenient...there are hoses placed throughout so you can easily water your plot.  It is going to be hot this week so I will probably stop and water most days so the plants can get established. 

Of course, yesterday was Mother's Day.  My first one!  I celebrated by going swimming at the Y (I have made my return to exercise even though wearing a swimming suit is not my favorite thing to do right now!) and when I came home I returned to this scene...

Justin was sleeping and these two were just chilling out with him.  Allan hates to miss out on any quilt snuggling action. 

Friday, May 11, 2012

Rummage Time!

Guess what season it is?!  It's rummage sale time!  I love going to rummage sales.  In the past, I have avoided sales that advertise nothing but baby and kids stuff.  Now, those are the ones I gravitate towards.  As an unemployed person, I can report to the ones that start Friday at 8 a.m. promptly at 8 a.m.  I thought that as a rare unemployed person I would be one of the only people there.  Well, that is wrong.  So wrong.  There are alot of people who go to sales at 8 a.m. on Friday.  I went to one in the historic part of town with really big, nice houses and beautiful towering trees.  The house was on a main street so shoppers had to park on the next block and there were probably 30 cars lining the street.  It looked like the streets around NDSU when there was a big house party.  I guess I am not so tricky.   

Now that I have to haul my thirteen pound baby and his carseat with me (I admit I leave him in the car if he is sleeping and the street is quiet! Don't call the cops!) I can't do the intense rummaging that I could do before so now I make a plan.  I look at the classifieds for sales with baby boy clothes and accessories and prioritize.  I had some good luck this morning.  I also met alot of young moms with babies out and about, even one that was born the week after Ben in the same hospital.  I almost want to ask for their phone numbers so we can be friends during the day when everyone else is at work!  We could tear around quiet neighborhoods together, rummaging away the day only stopping to feed babies.  It would have to be someone with a girl though...I don't want any competition for the good boy stuff!

So, on to my finds...

I am so proud of this little set!  I know Justin is going to say, "What are you going to do with that?" but I don't care. 

It is a little kids furniture set.  After I inquired about it I found out it is from IKEA!  SOLD!  Being hundreds of miles from the nearest IKEA I would not turn that down!  It will be so cute in our basement or in a future kid bedroom when we might someday live in a house that doesn't have tiny bedrooms!

I also am always on the hunt for baby clothes, mostly in the 9-12 month range.  If I see a cute, cheap 6 month item that is summery I will take it but we mostly just need bigger sized things for the future. 

I don't have problems with hand me downs and second hand clothes for kids as long as they look good still.  I knew a family growing up, as everyone does, that didn't have alot of money and had alot of kids.  All of their clothes looked completely hashed and ragged and the pants were always too short and you knew they, even the older ones, never had anything new.  As a lover of clothes, I felt pity and was very glad that I had new clothes and shoes all the time.  I was an oldest child after all.  Although, I admit, my family was a buyer of new clothes and I don't know if I ever had a hand me down.  My brother also lucked out as the only boy.  Only my sister wore my old jeans and coats but when we got to middle school I think she mostly got to pick out her own clothes too.  Now, whenever I find that she has a bag of clothes ready to donate I dig through it and take some hand me downs from her! 

So, here is what I found.   

My standards are...if it is fleece it must not be pilled if I am paying (if it is given to me no problem!), no stains or yellow tinged discoloration from spit up (although most people have the sense not to try to sell that stuff and once again, I would not pay for it but if it is given to me I accept!).  This stuff is all really nice.  Those onesies in the front truly look like they have never been worn and those pants with the GAP shirt (from Gap as well) still have a trademark Gap security tag inside that you are supposed to cut off that looks like it has never been through a wash cycle.  And that blue sweatshirt is thick and soft and heavenly, almost like my favorite overpriced Abercrombie & Fitch sweatshirts that I love.  Oooh, that was fun...I am so pleased with myself right now. 

I am aware of the future need for bigger clothes because my little baby is getting big!  He has been sleeping in his crib for several weeks now and for fun I put him in the bassinette a few days ago to see how he filled it up and he did! 

No more newborn!

Also, I bought this cool light reflector tool for taking pictures.  It is meant to reduce shadows when taking outdoor pictures but I tried it out indoors. 

Nice results I think!  I can't wait to experiment more with it, in my backyard or even better, at the farm, where no one can see and wonder what the H--- I am doing angling a big shiny disk at my baby and reflecting the sun towards oncoming traffic.  Blast this busy street that I live on!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

My Day Has Been Made!

I have had my day made by random people out in the world two days in a row!  It is the best...I will start by telling what happened to me today...

It all started when I was hand washing Justin's baptism outfit by hand in the sink.  There was a miniscule you know what stain on the back of it and I know he drooled on it a bit as well so I wanted it clean before being stored back in it's tissue lined box.  It was hanging up to dry and I thought that it was a shame that I never got a close up photo of Ben in either of his baptism outfits.  I thought my pictures with the apple blossoms were pretty good so I decided I would try some pictures of him wearing the outfit with my big zoom lens. 

I searched online for ways to take professional looking portraits at home and found some suggestions such as using a sheet or shower curtain or other large piece of fabric as a backdrop and using natural light sources like windows if you are indoors.  I got out a light blue sheet with a subtle pattern that we have and hung it in a corner of our living room, which is usually very bright once morning has passed.  I took our Boppy pillow and put it on an ottoman and draped Justin's baptism blanket over it and posed Ben on it.  

I tried to make that collar stay down but it would not!  I should have ironed the outfit, I guess. 

Of course, Allan couldn't resist getting in the mix.  He had to explore my little set and also tried to pull the sheet down. 

I love this one but that fringe is not placed very well!

Bad fringe again!

So how does this lead to my day being made?  I ordered a bunch of these from Walmart 1 hour photo to include with thank you notes for Ben's baptism gifts.  When I went to pick them up I told the teenager working at the register that I had a one hour order.  He went to get the envelope and then went to talk to the "head guy" in the photo department.  That guy came over to me and said that they need a release when they print professional photos.  Heeheee!  I said "They aren't professional.  I took them in my living room a few hours ago."  He said, "Oh, well, they have a professional look."  Then he made me sign their release form!  Haha I am so pleased with myself.  I think his analysis might be kind of a stretch compared to real studio photos but with some more practice I may be able to put my Sears Photo Studio days behind me!

Yesterday my day was made at the pediatrition's office.  The doctor and I were chatting about things related to Ben and she said, "You know, I told my nurse that you remind me of Kristen Wiig (the hilarious actress on Saturday Night Live and star of "Bridesmaids") and she agrees!  You're funny!"  She was referring to personality, not appearance, by the way...Kristen and I look nothing alike and I would guess her clothing size is my size divided by two.  Actually, with my fabulous post baby physique it is probaby more like my size divided by three.  I was very flattered by this comparison because Kristen Wiig is hilarious and one of my favorite actresses at the moment! 

What will tomorrow hold?!

Monday, May 7, 2012

"Wash Away My Sin"

Ben was baptized yesterday.  We had it done at St. John in Hatton where I was baptized almost exactly 29 years ago in the early summer of 1983.  It was a good day.  Ben behaved well during his time at the fount and didn't fuss very much.  We had our family stay for lunch after church in the church reception hall.  Although I haven't regularly attended church at St. John for years I still am greeted with waves of nostalgia when I walk in the door.  It is so familiar to me...I know every enterance and classroom in the basement where all the kids would play while our parents were working on various church commitees or serving some event.  I know where the little door that gives access to the organ pipes and bell tower is.  I know where stuff goes in the kitchen.  It still smells the same and walking into the back entrance by the kitchen and smelling food made me feel like a kid again, showing up there after school if my mom was helping serve a meal or waiting in the pews for our number to be called in the days when the men's turkey dinner fundraiser would attract hundreds of people and we had to wait to be seated.  I was also confirmed there and married there, although we didn't live in town my whole life.  I was baptized there because my parents lived far from family when I was born and it was a convenient location for everyone. 

Here is Ben with Justin in his attire!  

He is wearing my gown in this picture...

We took some pictures after church.  They are not that great because everyone is looking in all different directions in them and I am not comfortable with my weight at the moment.  Ugh. 

Here are the great grandparents who were able to be present.  From the left, they are my Grandma Phyllis, Justin's Grandma Irene, and my grandparents Dorothy and Glenn.  I didn't realize how small they all are these days!  Justin and I look like giants!

That "Child of God" banner has been around since I was a kid.  Seeing that banner at the beginning of church meant that there would be at least some excitement to look forward to during the usual boring service! 

Here are the sponsors...from left...Michelle, Justin's sister, Ryan, Justin's cousin, and Kirk and Andrea, my sister and brother in law. 

The parents (well, our parents and Ben's grandparents!). 

Here is Ben's cake!  Here he is wearing Justin's baptismal outfit.  I am dissapointed that I didn't get any pictures of him close up in his outfits.  The day was just too crazy.  Maybe I can have a mini photo shoot later although I better hurry because he barely fit into Justin's outfit! 

Here he is with Justin's grandma.  Notice the wardrobe change...there was a slight diaper malfunction.  Don't worry...his onesie saved the day and no heirloom baptism outfits were damaged. 

Oooh tired boy!  After a busy morning he passed out among the crowd in Grandma and Grandpa's living room. 

Later in the afternoon after the guests were clearing out  I wanted to get some pictures by this flowering apple tree in the yard since I didn't get a chance to take pictures by the flowering trees outside the church.  I put on my big zoom lens and did some experimenting with my camera. 

Jakey was a good subject for the rapid fire action setting.  I love how you can see the water droplets at his feet! 

Pretty flowers!

Lazy baby!

The dappling of the shade makes these kind of cool looking.  This one is my favorite becasue of Jake creeping in the corner. 


He thought it was really lame to be posing with flowers!

Ben and Uncle Peder were matching!  Well, Pete needed some cool glasses like Ben had for the full effect...