Thursday, September 27, 2012

Mmmm Carrots

The garden has finished...when I went there on Monday I could see that there had been a freeze and the plants were all wilted.  The remaining tomatoes were mostly soft and damaged...aww...too bad...hehe...
On Wednesday we went there and took down the fence, pulled out the dead plants and dug the carrots.  I had heard that the best time to pull them was after a light freeze.  I knew they were big based on how large around the tops were but I had no idea how large they were!  
They sure are fat carrots!  I thought that they looked like sugar beets instead of carrots! 
There were also a few oddballs like this mutant...I think that is a result of inadequate thinning of the plants when they were small. 

Since storing carrots is not the easiest task we decided to freeze them right away.  I researched it and the sources said that the best way to store them is to fill a box with sand and bury them and store the box in a cool, dry place.  Ummm...OK...not happening.  We don't have room for any more boxes in any of our storage areas!  Freezing them was not too difficult although it did involve that blasted blanching process again to kill bacteria and alot of chopping.  I love cooked carrots so I will enjoy eating them throughout the winter. 

For some reason, our back yard garden did not freeze, probably because it is more sheltered.  It doesn't look like it is going to freeze again in the near future and in fact it is going to be like summer which kind of annoys me because I hate the way bugs behave in fall.  It seems like bees are everywhere, and the newest treat is box elder bugs.  They are all over the exterior of the house, trying to find a warm spot for winter.  I grew up in a farm house surrounded by box elder trees so I know these bugs all too well and I hate them.  They don't bite, or try to get into food so they could be worse but they just seem to be everywhere and are so annoying.  They are black with an orange stripe on their backs and very creepy looking. 

Here are a lovely pair lurking by the mailbox.  All I can say is that these bastards better stay the F out of my house!  I will not put up with them and will not hesitate to place my cat nearby so he can pretend he is a predator and bat and play with them if they get in around the door! 

Monday, September 24, 2012

First World Problems

I have some MAJOR first world problems happening right now.  Well, I always have many.  You know, problems that people in developing countries would not even think about.  For example, some of mine include the fact that my dresser drawers are so stuffed that sometimes a shirt falls behind the drawer and makes it impossible to close the drawer and the fact that the autostart in my car does not also turn on my seat heaters (Ughh so annoying!)  My current issue is that, last night, I tried to turn on my computer only to have it immediately go black because the battery was drained even though it was plugged in!  I checked the obvious issues and then realized the little light on the rectangle shaped thing (what is that called?)  in the power cord wasn't lit up.  Yes, the cord has quit working and it none of the other cords in the house matches with that computer.  #(*&$@)!!!

Fortunately, we have Justin's old Dell from 2004, the iPad, smart phones, and a computer I use to help my mom with her office duties in the house in addition to my computer.  Indeed...first world problems!  I know ordering a new cord is pretty expensive from the computer company (Dell) and was ready to shell out.   However, I found a replacement cord and a new battery as well on Amazon for $40.00 so now I just have to wait for them.  So don't expect much from me this week, at least in pictures. 

Speaking of pictures, I made Justin come with me to the park last night to take some pictures of Ben since the leaves are starting to turn.  They aren's as "fall-ish" as I would like because the grass is still green but some of them were OK.  I think we should have waited an hour because the light was still pretty bright and Ben was squinting in alot of them.  I know I hate having to take pictures with bright light in my face so I understand how he was feeling!  Here are some of the better ones...some of them could use cropping and adjustment but I don't have my computer with the editing software so that will have to come later!

The ever present drool!

This is his "I'm about to fuss" face!

As you can see,  we had some trouble getting him to look at the camera...there was alot to see at the park!

We brought this cute little wagon of Justin's from when he was a kid and I am so sad about these pictures!  They could be so cute and I love the pop of red, but SOMEONE would not for any reason look up!  There is a big silver bolt holding the handle to the wagon and it was, at the moment, the most interesting thing in the world. 

Yeah..too bad about those pictures...

I took a few more this afternoon on the deck and in the living room.  The deck was shaded so he had an easier time opening his eyes. 

I did the laundry from the weekend and put him in some bison clothes for a few photos!  Poor kid...I use him as a test subject!

Of course, there had to be the usual sabotage...

"Alalala" made an appearance and quickly decided he wasn't interested!

Hope you enjoyed the major "photo bomb"!

Thursday, September 20, 2012


I think the weeks of trying to get Ben to eat baby cereal and food has paid off...the last two nights he seemed like he was actually consuming some of the oatmeal/fruit/milk concoction and there be tactful...evidence...during diaper changing time that indicates that there has been a dietary change.  Halleluiah.  At least now I know the daily sessions are more than a messy waste of time and food.  I am very glad that Gerber cereal only costs about $2.00 a box because about 95% of it has gone down the drain. 

Speaking of cereal, maybe you saw the news about how there is a warning about rice containing levels of arsenic worth mentioning.  The warning includes rice baby cereal.  Ugh %^*#@ what next?  It's always something with baby products!  This goes beyond just baby rice but still...

Have I mentioned that Benjamin is driving me crazy?  All day I keep him away from stuff and he really is interested in non-toys more than anything else.  This week he has pulled a bottle of wine off the wine rack in the kitchen (it didn't break), become wayyy to interested in my shoes that are always piled by the door and wants to put them in his mouth (eeeww), and is completely in love with any electrical cord or charger.   Yesterday he was in the corner of the living room and I heard a dragging sound.  He was grasping the leg of the six foot tall floor lamp with shelves built in and dragging it.  Who knows how this would have ended if I hadn't been nearby.  I can imagine the avalanche of picture frames tumbling down.  Also, after sleeping all night since he was six weeks old he has started regularly wakng up at night to eat.  Last night he was up at midnight, 2 a.m. and 5 a.m.  Ugh SERIOUSLY?  This better be a passing phase. 

Under the kitchen table is a popular place!
Who needs a soft play mat with dangling toys or a blanket when you can lay on a wood floor and stare at a table?
Aww...happy man!
Wearing the summer outfits a few more times!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012


I have still managed to do some sewing during these last months although I wish it was alot more sewing.  That's life, I guess!  This is what I have managed to do since Ben's birth...
Pinned Image
Haha...I WISH I had made one of these!  I have to admit that that is the photo from Pinterest and not something I made.  I thought it was very clever, however, to use that fleece fabric that would usually be used for the back of a quilt or something like that as the front of a football.  However, I recently needed a baby gift and I wanted to make something so I modified it into a miniature "taggie" version. 
As everyone knows babies like little "lovey" type blanket items and always have.  My mom said that my grandma used to cut up those synthetic polyester bedspreads, the kind with the satin border that you put between the sheet and main beadspread, into small squares for her kids to carry around.  Someone figured this out and now you can buy many small security blankets in stores.  They are cute and many of them have a little stuffed animal on them.  Also, there are ones named "Taggies" that have ribbon loops and make crunchy noises.  We got a homemade version as a gift so I knew a bit about how to make one (the crinkle comes from a clean food wrapper such as a cereal box liner or chip bag sewn in between the layers).  As I was doing some research online I read that if you try to sell these for profit the original Taggies company will take legal action since they copyrighted the ribbon loop thing.  Who knows if it is true but I don't plan on selling anything so I don't really care.  I know many people who make these.  I wish I had thought to copyright a ribbon loop!
I do know that doing applique is not my favorite!  Upon close inspection the laces and stripes on the football are not very well done but I will just pretend it is supposed to look that way!  Haha...and of course they are washable.  I have washed the one we got as a present several times.  Ben got a football one too and he loves it. 
And I also managed to make this quilt as a gift for the previously mentioned Aubrey.  I have no idea how I managed to finish this thing.  It took several months and I could, under baby free circumstances, finish a quilt like this in a few days.   

I love it though...the fabrics are very nice but not overly babyish and I love how the trapezoid shaped blocks are still very simple but look more interesting than regular squares.  I have done it a few times now and I always like the results. 

On a different note, I went to a wedding of a college friend this weekend minus Justin and Ben and it was a blast.  I have to mention that my friends and I stayed in a haunted hotel that is going to be on a ghost story show on the Travel Channel on October 4!  EEk!  We didn't know it was haunted until check in.  I was only there for Saturday night and we were the time we went to bed after the wedding so if anything paranormal happened we wouldn't have noticed anyway!  It was called the Palmer House in Sauke Center, MN if you want to look up the legend. 

Friday, September 14, 2012

Baby on the Move

So, I wouldn't say Ben is crawling because his movements aren't exactly on his hands and knees, but he has mobilized to another level in the last few days and now drags himself all over the place.  He is able to follow me around and get to items that he wants by doing kind of an inch worm like dragging motion.  It is really funny and cute but also annoying because he is most interested in things that are not toys.  Specifically, he is in love with cords, magazines, my ipad case, the TV remote and Allan's toys and pretty much anything that is in his path.  It scares me becaues now, when I have stopped worrying about SIDS, I now get to worry about choking hazards.  Sigh...

He is truly all over the place!  When I was eating yesterday at the kitchen table he crawled over to me and whacked at my feet and legs for a few minutes then he went all around under the table and then over to the wine rack in the corner and, if I hadn't been watching, he would have pulled down a bottle.  He is in love my my computer cord above all other cords.  I have a video of him going for it but videos take forever to upload and I keep getting errors.  Baby videos are pretty boring anyway...unless the featured baby is your child or grandchild!

Here he is messing with the cords behind the TV...I put a stop to that pretty quick!

Hmmm...a plant with little rocks on top of the soil...perfect plaything for a baby!

Oh, wonderful!  Allan's cardboard scratching toy that I pour catnip all over!  Excellent!  Poor Al...he looks a bit violated to have a baby messing with his belongings...
Yesterday I was sitting on my bed talking on the phone while Ben was on a blanket in the hallway playing with some toys.  Soon I heard  slapping sound of skin on wood and he came creeping around the corner grinning...then he went over to my duffel bag which is never completely unpacked it seems and started making a mess of the clothes laying on top of it.  Those are the waste of money nursing shirts I bought before he was born that I only ever wore to sleep in.  I keep meaning to put them with the maternity clothes but that box is barricaded behind a wall of other crap and I have been too lazy to do anything about it so I just move the stack around the room to get it out of the way.  Seriously, I wish I had bought maybe one of those shirts for the early days.  I haven't worn one in months. 
Ben has been getting bored more quickly with toys so I find things around the house to give him to change it up.  He loves this spatula. 
Kind of unrelated, but I thought it was cute...Ben's new sleeping sack so he can be cozy when the weather gets colder! 
In other Ben news, I have been relentlessly trying to feed him baby food and cereal twice a day and it is the biggest waste of time!  I first tried cereal when he was 4 months but never really took it too seriously but the pediatrition said to keep trying and add the pureed fruits and vegetables.  I honestly loathe this whole process right now.  The main reason is that he hardly eats any of it.  Sometimes I think he actually ingests some but I don't think he has because his...uhhh...eliminations have not changed.  This is how it works...I put him in the high chair and get the food ready.  Then I make a big scene about pretending to eat it (gag!) and acting like it is awesome.  Then I start putting the spoon in his mouth.  Most of the what was on the spoon seems to dribble out.  Meanwhile, Ben is lunging at the dishes and trying to grab them (a sign of solid eating readiness, apparently) and clenching at the spoon and shoving it into his mouth to chew on it (he has 2 teeth now!) often gagging himself.  The I extricate the spoon from his very strong grip  and get the food all over my hands.  I think it would be more effective to just smear food all over his hands and the bib because he would much rather shove those in his mouth than the spoon. 
I also have to admit that the food itself is disgusting.  Purees are pretty nauseating to me, although they do smell just like the real vegetables (I have only tired peas and sweet potatoes so far, in addition to apples and pears).  I wish he could just go from milk to actual chewable foods but I know that isn't happening!
Finally, Ben is very gross at the end of a "meal".  Everything ends up in his neck rolls and all over his face and hands and even in his hair sometimes.  The high chair straps are already stained various orange and green shades.  I am really trying to avoid feeding him any orange or green items while he wears nice clothes and at night I try to do it just before his bath so he can just be in his diaper.  And, inveitably, I end up with crustiness all over my hands and arms and feel like I should take a shower afterwards. 
Don't I sound like mother of the year right now?! Hahaha...

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Ft. Collins

Ah, I always love a trip "out west"!  We went to Fort Collins, CO, over the weekend for a NDSU game.  It was a nine hour drive from Bismarck including stops.  Yes, we drove!  Driving through Western ND, SD, Wyoming and finally getting to Colorado is quite a drive.  I am being serious when I say I really enjoyed it, although many people would rather stab their eyes out than drive through these areas.  I have made this drive before, although I don't remember it.  When I was a child, as in pre-elementary school, we lived in Wyoming so this would have been our way to visit home.  It was fun to see signs for the old landmarks in the Black Hills that we used to frequent, such as Devil's Tower. We also drove through Amidon, ND, which is the smallest county seat in the U.S. according to the sign.  I looked it up and Wikipedia says it is the third smallest behind a town in Texas and another in Nebraska.  It is tiny but stands out as a special place.  I like the name...I couldn't clarify this but I believe the name Amidon has something to do with friendship based on my knowledge of other "friendly" words such as amistad (Spanish for Friendship) and amicable...and of course amigo!
Eastern Wyoming is so vast and empty that I couldn't stop staring.  If you think North Dakota is wide open you have to see Wyoming.  Once you pass the Northeast region (where my family used to live) which is quite pretty you can go for miles without seeing a sign of civilization.  It is a very dry and desert like area, and I believe it is worse this time of year.  If anyone tosses a cigarette out the window the whole state is going up in flames! 
We finally arrived in Fort Collins and quickly headed to the pep rally alumni event.  That was a fun beer, socializing and all kinds of nonsense!  We discovered that there was a bar about a three minute walk from our hotel so we went there before and after pretty much everything we did.  We were there for two nights and we saw the same waitress about four times. 
On Saturday morning we went to the New Belgium Brewing Co., which makes Fat Tire beer.  I could have stayed around there all day!  The tours were all full but the beers were delicious!
There were so many unique flavors to try...I will definitely be taking a closer look at this stuff at the liquor store from now on. 

Silly guys!

Tailgating at the stadium started at 2 pm (earlier if  you paid extra) so that was next on the agenda...after filling the coolers of course!  The information about the game said that only 3.2 percent alcohol beer (near beer?  Ugh!) was allowed at tailgating.  We called some people who were already in, however, and were told that no one cared what kind of beer anyone was drinking so we just bought normal beer.  It tasted pretty watery after all that New Belgium stuff!

 I don't know if we got enough...

The stadium was on the edge of town instead of by the campus.  It was quite a strange setting. There was no pavement, just a vast grass field in the shadow of some rocky hills.

I thought the whole setting was like some sort of secret bomb testing facility or something!  Even the stadium looked like a scientific testing place!

Well, good news...we won!  Good one likes to drive that far to see their team lose! 

Meanwhile, in case you were wondering, Ben was in Bismarck with his Nana and Grandpa Mary and Larry and we were told he was a delight to watch.  I am glad!  I had alot of fun being baby free for a few days although my pump never left my side and I was very glad to get home to him on Sunday night. 

Monday, September 10, 2012

Ben's TV Debut

Two weeks ago I had Ben at our garden at the city's public garden and when I pulled up there was a TV station van there and also a truck from a local nursury and greenhouse.  It turns out that they were filming "Dan's Garden", a weekly TV segment that shows on the evening news on Fridays.  I have never seen it because we usually aren't home on Friday and if we are I am usually not watching the 6:00 news.  Dan asked if we would participate and I said, "sure, why not!".  They were interviewing another gardener as well and her segment was shown last Friday. 

Here is ours...

Haha!  Ben sure looks cute!  I look kind of deranged, with my eyes darting all over the place!  I blame it on them making me take my sunglasses off in the direct afternoon sun.  That is never a pleasant experience for me!  At least I didn't start sneezing like I sometimes do when I have am in the sun!  I love when Ben starts kicking at the end.  We just got to watch it last night because Justin and I were in Fort Collins, CO over the weekend to watch some football.  More about that later! 

Thursday, September 6, 2012

6 Months

Hard to believe, but Ben is now six months old...well actually he will be as of tomorrow but I am going to Colorado and will be in the car all day so I thought I better honor the day today.  All the cliches are right and time really does fly.  It sure didn't feel like it was flying on March 6th as I waited the day away, 6 days overdue, so the morning would come and I could go to the hospital to be induced.  And I can't believe how far I have come from those delirous first days when had no idea what I was doing and hadn't slept more than a few hours consecutively since March 5th.  Holy crap, what a mess I was.  I could barely get up because of the pain from the c-section I ended up with and was full of narcotic pain pills.  Every time I tried to get up to feed Ben in the night was a painful ordeal.  I didn't have anyone to help night nurse (many articles I have read online recommend that new parents hire a night nurse...huh?  Sorry...kind of out of the budget...) no mother taking up residence...none of the above...I am so glad I am passed those days for now. 
What's happening now?  Ben is OK at sitting but I wouldn't say he has it down. 

Mmmm...annoying Baby Einstein toy "mp3 player" that plays the classics in annoying babyish chime tones!  Delicous!

Toppling over! It took a few takes to get some good sitting photos!

Seeing pictures of my cousin's new baby Aubrey made me nostalgic about Ben's early days...this "going home" photo of her in her seat was so cute because I forgot how tiny they are at first!

I looked back at our photos of Ben on going home day...

Tiny little guy!  Now his feet hang off the end of the seat! 

Here are a few more pictures from his first two days home...

Allan being a good brother.  He must have been completely confused by a new little person showing up at his house!

Swinging for the first time.  Once again, he looks tiny!

Here are a few more current pictures...

Outside looking in at Allan...confusing for both of them!

 This is the usual diaper change routine is time consuming and tiring...he thinks it is fun!

Happy 1/2 year Mr. Fussy Man/Mr. Goo/Baby B/Baby Bear/Benjamin! 

Oh, as an afterthought...he woke up on Saturday morning with a tooth!  I forgot to mention it yesterday...a week short of six months...which is...average!  I am going to admit kid is average...sigh...