Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Rapid Fire Photo Catch Up

We have done so much these last several weeks!  In the past, before I only had a few hours a week to space out with the computer, each occasion would have been a post all by itself!  I miss those days.  But this will have to do for now. 

So, two weekends ago there was big street fair in front of the State Capitol.  It's pretty neat, when you think about it, to live within sight of a Capitol building.  Often, when I drive the streets in front of or behind it, which are two main streets that many Bismarck residents drive daily, and that we also live between, I think of the book from my childhood, "Missing May", which is about a young girl who was raised by her great aunt and uncle and the way they deal with their grief after May, the aunt, dies. 

Front Cover

It is a very good but sad book that came from the old "Scholastic Book Order" days in elementary school.  In the book, the girl, her uncle an oddball school friend set off to meet with a person who can supposedly contact people who have "moved on" and they stop in awe at the domed Capitol building of whatever state they lived in (I think it was Virginia or West Virginia) because the oddball friend always dreamed of seeing it.  It was like a once in a lifetime experience.  And here I am, practically driving on the front lawn, every day!  I can practically say that the governor is my neighbor!

The kettle corn (or should I say, "korn") stand was right in front, at the top of the large "U" driveway that is several blocks long that leads to the Capitol.  I had to snap this picture since it was such a perfect day.  The other reason the street fair was memorable is because I found this fun little trinket: 

It's my hometown!  I love maps!  I also found a fun NDSU necklace with a buffalo nickel pendant. 

Later that week, my sister, who was 10 days overdue in her pregnancy, was induced and my niece Claire was born.  I packed up Ben and Tessa and headed toward Fargo where I spent a few minutes holding Claire and several hours attempting to corral Ben and Tessa and sitting in a labor and delivery floor waiting room playing with color crayons. 

Here we are!  I don't know what was going on with that mirror in the background.  It cast a very flattering light, which I suppose is what new moms need in the days after labor!
Next up was a visit from Ben's cousins Jack and Spencer.  Their parents came too, of course!  Spencer loves to play with vacuum cleaners and it just so happens that we have two of the same battery powered Dirt Devil so they could vacuum together without fights! 

What fun, what fun...check out Ben's Santa PJs.  He picked them out himself. 
On Saturday we went to the zoo and then on a historic "choo choo" ride nine miles south of town to a state park with an old fort and replica Indian village.  The zoo here has a trio of tigers, including a white Siberian, a traditional orange Bengal, and this oddball:

It is a rare genetic oddity that is white and orange (and no, it's not a child of the two others!).  There are only thirty of them in the world and they don't survive very long in the wild.  I don't know why.  They must have weak instincts or something. 

It is a very charismatic and entertaining tiger.  Every summer, I see many Facebook posts about this tiger giving kids a thrill at the zoo and today was no exception. 
Allan was jealous that we got to see his brother, who is his equal in size and strength and hunting ability!
Sometime in my phone photo sequence Tessa figured out how to trash the bathroom, a right of passage for any mobilizing baby!

On Saturday morning, while the cousins were playing and we were getting ready to go to the zoo, I received a text that my sister-in-law's water broke!  My brother would soon be becoming a father (why does it seem normal for a sister to become a mother but so weird for a brother to be a father?). I waited for news all day and pestered my mom mostly and my brother occasionally and as of "night night time" when I finally crashed as Justin and his step brother watched a documentary on PBS about the Bison-Sioux rivalry through the years, there was still no baby.  I woke to news that my new nephew, Arne, was born at 4:52 a.m.! 
On Monday I headed off to Grand Forks, and lucky for me Justin's mom was able to watch Ben and Tessa for a few hours so I could visit this guy in peace! 

Oh, I love a newborn!
When I saw this picture I took of my brother, I had a fleeting feeling of recognition and then I figured out why...

You might instinctively think this is my mom, but it's actually my grandma holding who appears to be my mom as a baby.  Quite a resemblance between the generations!
After my visit with Arne, I spent a day at my parents' house and took Ben and Tessa swimming at the pool where I practically lived and later worked when I was growing up.  It's nothing fancy but that blue water still entices me the way it did back then. 

Ben loved playing with the kickboards, which we pretended were surfboards.  We floated Tessa around and made her "surf" and she could stand touching the bottom at the edge and held on with one had and splashed with the other.  I'm sad that pool season is almost over.

Then we headed to visit cousin Claire.  Tessa looks like such a beast next to these newborns. 

My sister bought them matching pajamas with kittens on them!

After a day at the farm, Ben was filthy and I took him for an ATV ride to pick up my dad from a field he was working in.  He looks like a piglet. 

We tagged along to a 'seafood boil" party that my parent's friends had in their backyard and Tessa enjoyed some corn on the cob.  I am amazed to watch her eat after dealing with Ben's eating habits.

One of their friends owns this vintage car and as you can imagine, Ben couldn't get enough of it!

And finally...Last night was Justin's company picnic at a park.  We received tickets for rides at the "Super Slide" amusement park that is attached to the park and had fun with the other young kids at the picnic, especially a little girl who is only a month younger than Ben. 
Justin took Ben on the Ferris Wheel and he was kind of scared but also kind of dumbfounded! 

We both took our turns on the super slide.  He was scared but also didn't hesitate to do it over and over again.  He also rode a kids train but I didn't get pictures because my phone was in the stroller and I rode a spinning swing with him but in the pictures I am oozing out the sides of the chair and it looked really gross so I will spare you!  It was made for little kids after all!
OK, I hope I am caught up.  This will have to suffice! 

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