Friday, June 29, 2012

Notes from this week...

I don't have much time this morning because I have to pack and prepare for the upcoming weekend and the 4th of July!  My favorite!  I have a few things to share though...first...

Yesterday was my parents' 32nd anniversary! 

And our 5th anniversary! 

Hard to believe it was five years ago...and the 30th is back on a Saturday so that means a whole new group of couples will share our anniversary!  I know many people have the 28th like my parents and many people had the 30th back in 2007.  I may have to reflect more on this day later when I have more time...the pictures are actually not loaded on my new computer so I have to find the disk.  They are on Facebook but I don't want to copy and paste. 

Oh, and one more thing...on this day last year, I attended a Continuing Education class and was bored most of the time and felt weird and kept I?  So after the class I bought a generic brand test and...I was!  And I was pretty shocked!  And now baby Ben is here!

Oh, and ONE more thing...last night I was picking out clothes to pack and just for fun I decided to try on my "real" favorite jeans that were always pretty tight before but fit perfectly and they fit!  YEAAAAHHHH!  This revelation resulted in about 10 minutes of me prancing around the house and staring at myself in the mirror.  Such a relief!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Just When I Thought...

Just when I thought that no more crap could fit in our house...I went and obtained more crap for our house! 

It started last Friday afternoon.  Justin got home from work early just as I was getting ready to take Ben to the city garden plot to water ours before the weekend.  I left Ben with him and headed over there.  On the way, something caught my eye on the side of the road.  It was a rummage sale and there was an "Exersaucer" baby gym in the yard!  I have been wanting to get one of these for Ben because he loves to try to stand up and he also loves to kick.  They cost anywhere from $50 to over $100 at stores. 

I brought it home and plopped him right in there, even though It was kind of dusty and I like to wash anything secondhand that has cloth before using it.  He loved it and now it really needs to be washed because he drooled all over it.  That seat was soaking wet after a few minutes of use. 

I searched online and discovered that this model is current and still sold in stores so we really did get a deal!  It is pretty garish, with bright primary colors and a circus theme.  So now we have an ocean themed play mat, a woodland themed bouncer and swing and a circus themed excersaucer.  Our living room looks like a toy store and I don't like it one bit but I guess that is how life will be for the next...oh...who knows how many years?!  Time to just go with the flow...I have to scoff at all of the decorating magazines and the Pottery Barn Kids and Land Of Nod catalogues with their fashionable spreads with lovingly handcrafted wood toys and vintage style stuffed animals and dolls made of sustainable organic fabrics no obnoxious primary colored novelty toys to be seen.  Babies don't like that stuff!  They like THIS stuff:

Cats like this stuff too...

Regardless of how ugly it is and how it takes away from the tastefulness of my living room, I am glad I found this thing because I think it will give Ben hours of entertainment and me hours of free time! 

Over the weekend I was in my dad's shop and there was this old locker standing in there.  I didn't think much of it because he is always finding interesting crap that other people discard where he works.  Soon I started thinking about it though, and decided I wanted it in my house.  It is six feet tall and pretty deep...deep enough to hang clothing...18 inches of extra space to hang clothing!!!! MUST HAVE!  I have the perfect corner for it. 

It was already pretty clean but I washed it quickly and proceeded to paint it.  I'd decided on black spraypaint with a hammered metal texture.  I had failed to remember something...spray painting is not enjoyable.  It also looks pretty bad until you have many layers on.  I did three coats and then took a shower to rinse off the film of black paint that was all over me.  When I checked later, it looked pretty streaky and uneven still so I brought it home but I still need to do more coats before moving it in.  I will add pictures of the finished product later.  I am excited about it though.  There are so many possibilities with a locker!  It is so tall and it has a little shelf at the top and it is magnetic! 

A few more pictures...

My mom bought Ben a few Sesame Street books from the dollar aisle at Target and he really took to the one about Ernie.  He loves the bright yellow cover and also thinks it is delicous. 

My cute little baby!

Thursday, June 21, 2012


Yesterday I sent our grandmas each a note and some baby pictures.  Remember those days when, if you didn't live near people, especially little kids, you would have no idea what they looked like or how they were changing and growing unless someone took photos with film, got double prints and sent them in the mail?  I remember getting pictures of my young cousins who I only saw a few times a year back in the 1990s and they looked so different as the months passed. 

Now, most people are on the Internet all the time and use Facebook and take pictures and send them with their phones.  So everyone can see baby pictures and vacation pictures and pictures from fun events.   I have to say that I don't want to go back to the old way.   I remember going on trips or to camp when I was a kid and bringing one roll of film or one disposable camera and making sure not to waste my precious 25 or 36 pictures on something dumb (although those camp pictures were usually pretty dumb!).  In college everyone would order double prints and competition for doubles was fierce.  When you would pick up an envelope of developed film you never knew what you were getting and often red eye, bad lighting and blurring would made the batch a dissapointment.  Yes, those days can stay gone.  I will keep the instant gratification of digital. 

Anyway, I didn't know what else to post about so I just uploaded a bunch of pictures from my phone from the last few weeks to illustrate what I was talking about in the previous paragraphs. 

Creepy Creeperton!

Hehe...Ben is wearing my "I Voted" sticker!  Haha...a baby voted!  How clever! 

Oooh!  Shorts!

I jazzed this one up with Instagram.  I just got the app so I will have to experiment more with it later.  I love pictures so I don't know why I waited so long to try it. 

Yes, I still take pictures of him from time to time!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

My Troubles Are Over

Hey everyone, good news...I just got a life changing email! 

Read it and weep...

"Attention Dearest,

My sincere apology for contacting you through this form, but my circumstances leave me with no other choice. I am prayerfully leaving everything I have to you, hoping that you will respond positively and won't betray my trust, too. I should introduce myself.

I'm Mrs. Christabel Pennington. I am dying. I am 62 years old and was diagnosed with cancer about two years ago. I received a message from God to donate what I inherited from my late husband to you for the good work of God, i am about to end the race like this without a child and in contrast to how family members & friends has completed treated me during horrible moment in my life? I decided reaching out to a total stranger in your person . Rather than allow my relatives to use my husband's hard earned funds for ungodly purposes. I will be going in for an operation, and I pray that I survive. I have decided to will the sum of Ј6,000,000 Pounds to you for the good work of the lord, children in need, the poor and to help the homeless. Presently, I have informed my barrister of my decision to will these funds to you. Barrister Daniel Hamilton, contact him through his email ( if you are interested in carrying out this task, so that he may arrange for and tell you how the funds will

You can get any information you need from my Barrister.

He will report to me and answer in my stead.

God bless,
Mrs. Christabel Pennington"

Mrs. Christabel Pennington has randomly chosen me to be responsible for her six million pounds!  I don't know how many American dollars that is but it should be alot! 

Haha...don't worry.  I know this is a scam.  Seriously though...who in their right mind would fall for something like this?  This is just laughable!  What are the odds that Daniel Hamilton and Christabel Pennington are the same person with two different emails?  Pretty good, I think.  And I bet that Mr. Hamilton will just need my bank account information so he can made the transfer.  No biggie...

We have all seen these emails, often from some prince in Nigeria, but when they show up they always make me laugh and feel bad for those who must fall for them because if they didn't work on people these emails wouldn't keep coming. 

Exciting morning here...

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Happy Father's Day

Happy Father's Day to the dads out there, including Justin on his first Father's Day!

 I can't believe that our little burrito man was so tiny and sleepy and amicable to being wrapped up so tight just three months ago.  He is so different now!  More about that later...

Yesterday Justin spent a few hours fixing up this little cat house that his dad made in the 80's for the farm cats at his family farm.  It sat outside for years and ended up being stored in a farm shed until Justin's cousins found it and set it aside along with several other artifacts.  It was very dingy and filthy with worn off, peeling paint.  Justin pressure washed it and repainted it.  On the back there is a food dispenser that you can't see that allowed the cats to eat their food where the dogs couldn't get it.  It got  a coat of shiny black spray paint.  It is definitely true that farm dogs (and I'm sure any dog who had access to it) loooooove cat food.  It is very rich and has a higher fat content than dog food.  We had a golden retriever named Penny when I was growing up and she ate cat food until she was too old to hop up on the table in the garage where the cat food was kept and crane her neck over edge of the container and sneak a few bites here and there.  She thought she was so sneaky but her borderline obese physique gave her away! 

Long term, the cat house is intended to go to Justin's sister but he brought it in the house so Allan could have the cat house experience. 

Notice that over Allan's shoulder there is a little loft to give the cats extra space.  It got some new carpet that conveniently matches our basement carpet!  It reminds me of he cat house my dad built for our cats when we were growing up.  It was a double decker too!  It was bigger because the bottom "floor" was a dog house and then there was a little door in the ceiling so the cats could jump upstairs.  They also had an outdoor entrance.  I wish I had a picture but I don't! 

He has excellent balance!  I wonder if he will sleep in the house or in his familiar old tent tonight? 

Mr. Benjamin has been changing so much every week.  I really started noticing the week after I returned from Vegas.  He is getting really strong and kicks so hard!  He loves to get into what we call the "board" position where he tenses all his muscles and locks his knees and when you move him he is straight and stiff as a 2x4 and now he has been combining his leg movements with the board position and is getting much harder to manage.  I have started strapping him in when I put him in his bouncy chair because he is getting close to maneuvering out of it.  Tonight he almost dove off the couch when I was changing his position while I was holding him.  When I hold him he kicks, head butts, thrashes and pulls hair.  Doesn't he sound like a snuggly little dream?  Haha...he is so not...I think it's pretty cute though.  He does all of these things while giggling and cooing so how could I resist? 

What is really making me happy is that he is now interested in toys and holding things (mostly recieving blankets) so he can entertain himself for more than a few minutes at a time.  He loves this play mat thing with a bunch of obnoxious dangly objects hanging from it.  He starts on his back and ends up rolling over on his side because he likes to play with his feet and then he tips over.  He has rolled onto his tummy a few times but not enough for me to say he is a regular roller.  He needs to work on pulling his arm out from underneath himself when he rolls.

And...then he tries pull his sock off...

 And gets his foot stuck in a ring...

And yanks on that football so all the toys jangle and make noise.  During all of this playing the mat ends up shifting off the rug onto the hard floor so we drag it back and start again. 
 The play mat recently got a new was not included in the original ocean themed set!  That football wasn't either but he loves it hanging there so it will stay for awhile.  I have to admit that I am kind of glad the newborn stage is over although I don't want to wish away any stage of his childhood.  It is just nice that he has some (limited, very limited!) interests besides being held and sleeping!  It is fun to see him learn new things. last picture in honor of Father's and my dad back in...oh...1984.  Look at that stack of books!  I wonder if he read them all that night?

Friday, June 15, 2012

T-Shirt Tiiiiiime!

No, not the t-shirt time from the tv show "Jersey Shore"...the quilt kind!  I have been meaning to feature this t-shirt quilt I finished right before Ben was born but I have been to busy posting many, many photos of him to post pictures of a quilt.  How can it compare to my precious baby?  Haha...JK...

This is probably the 6th or 7th one of these I have made.  This one was for a friend from college and it not coincidentally contains many of the same shirts that are included in my t-shirt quilts.  It was like a stroll down memory lane to put this thing together!  

I knew I had to get this thing done before Ben was born (it is hard to remember those days when I didn't even know his name yet or what he looked like or when he was coming!).  I was a crazy sewing lady for a few days, certain that labor was imminent.  Well, as you all know, I was wrong.  It never became imminent.  Fortunately, I got it done weeks before I got induced. 

This one is different and better than all the others I have made because I quilted it with my sewing machine instead of tying it.  I also used the "good" binding technique which is much nicer and more professional looking than the old way I did it.  All around, it seems more durable than a tied quilt.  It was also the largest I have made.  It is 6 blocks long and 5 wide.  Previously, my largest had been 5 x 5. 

I am glad to report that my friend is happy with my work so that is good.  I always fear that when I make a quilt for someone they will wash it and seams will fall apart and they will be afraid to tell me so I can fix it!  I don't know why I think that because things I have made for myself don't fall apart. 

This post has made me nostalgic for sewing and quilting.  Ben has really cramped my style in that area! 

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

3 Month Adventures

Well, I don't have anything interesting to talk about.  I guess the highlight of my day has been walking to the nearby middle school to vote and watching the retired Optimist Club volunteers working at the polls fuss over Ben.  So I will just post a bunch of recent pictures.  

Ben with Great Grandma Dorothy. 

Great-Grandma's house!

Uncle Pete...he is so comfortable with babies!

It was really hot when I was visiting my parents and the pool where I used to spend every afternoon during the summer as a kid and where I worked as a teenager is opened for the summer and it looked so I thought I would bring my 3 month old to the "baby pool".   It has always been referred to as the baby pool but it should be called the toddler pool because it is still pretty deep for babies.   As you can see it is knee keep at the edge and it gets deeper toward the middle. 

I had packed his swimming suit just in case this might work out...well, it turns out it didn't really work out.  Back when in the old days of the 1990's and 2000's, the plumbing between the baby pool and the big pool didn't work.  The water was supposed to circulate between the two but it didn't so the baby pool had to be filled and chlorinated separately.  Because the water didn't circulate, the baby pool was always really warm (and, according to the legend of kids, it was also warm because little kids peed in it!  EEEEWWW!).  Well, a few years ago the pool got renovated and now the circulation works and the baby pool was pretty cold (not in general, but for a little baby like Ben I thought it was) so I just dipped his feet in a few times.  He didn't seem to care one way or the other. 

Yesterday I tried to take some fancy photos of him to commemorate being 3 months old.  They were not the that he likes to kick and flail his arms constantly it is harder to get him to pose in a cute way. 

I tried to place him in a basket filled with pillows but it didn't work very well!

Of course, a certain cat couldn't mind his own business...

 Over here, buddy!

Oh, and the hands...THE HANDS!

Have you ever seen anything so interesting?!

 The best ones are the ones where I put him in the Bumbo chair.

 I did a wardrobe change but this overall outfit was not working very well because the bib kept getting in the way.

Exciting, I know!