Tuesday, April 28, 2015

The Clothes I Love to Hate

I remember back in 2011 in the early months of my first pregnancy.  I ordered some maternity clothes and when they came I couldn't believe how huge they were and I couldn't imagine the day when those tent-like garments would fit me.  I don't remember when I went full maternity that first time.  I remember wearing some maternity jeans at the end of September because I was going on a car trip and wanted to be comfortable which would have made me about four months along so I guess maybe it wasn't as long of a wait as I thought but I recall wearing my usual t-shirts well into November. 
After struggling to find appropriate looking clothing in my normal wardrobe for a few weeks and finally deciding to draw the line on the circulation inhibiting jeans I decided to do what I've been avoiding and I went to the basement and found the box of maternity clothes! 
I was excited because the assortment now also contains everything my sister bought last summer when she was pregnant and due in August.  I knew she had a cute pair of jeans and a few pairs of shorts.  Well, of course they are too small so I am still left with the same old crap.  Too bad I don't have a job since she added several pairs of dress pants that I will probably just wear around the house because maternity jeans are so bad.  It doesn't matter if you get them from your favorite store.  It doesn't matter! 
It's going to be a long 5-6 months before wearing my old jeans again.  Well, realistically it could be months longer than that! 

Look what else I found in the box! 

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Tie Breaker

In my last post I was going on and on about a famous baby, one I will never meet and will only see in official photos released by the monarchy but there is news of another baby's not so imminent arrival:

Yes, as most of you probably already know we are having a third baby!  He or she is due in October and I am about 15 weeks along. 
I planned this Easter egg announcement over Easter and of course it didn't go as planned.  I dyed the first name eggs and Tessa broke hers the next day before I could take a picture.  It was in a basket on a table and she still managed to get it and break it. Then I tried again at my parents' house and my mom didn't have an egg dye kit so instead of the clear wax crayon  that works perfectly for writing hidden messages on eggs I had to use a white Crayola and it didn't work quite as well but I think the message is clear! 
The pregnancy has been fine and pretty agreeable like the other two with minimal symptoms.  We don't know what we are having yet and are so far undecided about if we are going to find out.  We now just have some logistical issues such as room sharing and car seat arranging we have to figure out. 
Ben kind of gets it but I think he very confused by the concept of a "tiny baby that has to grow and the doctor will help it come out".  Tessa just likes babies in general but has no concept about our baby or as she says, "Baybaybaybaybeeeee!"

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Royal Baby Patrol

Is anyone else just sooo excited for the newest royal baby to arrive?  I can't believe how exciting some of the royal stuff is, even though I'm not British.  Actually, all royals are interesting to me especially since I was able to see some of the royal palaces and properties of Scandinavia when I was studying abroad. 

Those tiny people are the Norwegian Royal Family!  The little white dot is a baby, the prince Sverre Magnus and there is a toddler girl up there too, the future queen Ingrid Alexandra.  This is what he looks like today, or I guess according to the Royal House of Norway website, as of 2013. 

Prince Sverre Magnus 2011 (Foto: Lisa Røstøen - Fotografix Studios)

And this is the princess.


And of course, there had to be an album of the whole family skiing!  They are Norwegian after all!



This palace was in Denmarck.  It is called Rosenborg Castle. 

This place hasn't been used as a home for any royals since 1801.  It was built as a summer residence back in the 1600s.  I guess it is just too impractical and huge to use as a normal house.  Imagine that.  It is a museum now, with lots of royal artifacts on the first floor.  I don't know what is on the other floors.  I can't even imagine.  The Royal Treasury with the crown jewels is located here.  There is a movie from 2004 called "The Prince and Me" starring Julia Styles about a college student who meets the prince of Denmark and falls in love with him before finding out he is a prince.  Some of the Denmark scenes are shot at the palaces around Copenhagen and there is even a scene where Julia's character goes into the treasury with the queen to pick some jewels to wear for a party!  I love seeing exotic movie locations and saying "I've been there!" 

Well, anyway, back to the Royal family that the whole work cares about.  I have a CNN app on my phone that alerts me with headlines and every time one pops up I get excited only to have to be informed about other U.S. and world news.  Did you know that the head of the Drug Enforcement Agency will soon step down according to U.S. officials?  Or that the Pope has accepted the resignation of a Kansas City Bishop due to a failure to report child abuse?  Or that significantly more people in the U.S. say the economy is good than poor according to a CNN poll?  All alerts from today, and none of them involve a baby!  Ugh. 

According to sources (also known as gossipy traitor friends) the due date for the baby is April 25.  I thought I read somewhere that the "books" had most of the bets on April 21st which is today!  I can't find the article to confirm that though.  Today is also Queen Elizabeth's 89th birthday.  I don't think anything is happening today though.  Also, I read in that same article that everyone is betting on the baby being a girl.  I think that might just be wishful thinking.  Hurry up baby!  Bored people everywhere need a diversion from their mundane lives!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Blue and Green

My sister bought Tessa this cute headband at a vendor show.  The whole purpose of this post is to show pictures of her in the headband since she has a shirt that matches perfectly and it might not fit much longer.  So here you go.  If you are waiting for a funny story or observation this probably won't be the post to find those things!  

I took these in her room yesterday morning.  They were OK but I knew I wanted to take some outside later in the day. 
Speaking of outside, look!  Green things!  
Those are irises! I hope they bloom with beautiful flowers like our irises at the old house did!  Bulbs and some scraggly grass are pretty much the only green vegetation around here so far and it is not because spring hasn't arrived.  There was hardly any snow this winter and the ground is red flag warning dry.  The day these pictures were taken there was a grass fire blazing about five miles away from us!  Then it flared up again yesterday!  I haven't heard anything in the news today so I assume it's under control today but the wind is blowing so who knows what will happen. 

I didn't plan it, but with the yellow ball, both kids wearing royal blue and the yellow on the headband I realized I had a nice color story happening.  However, all attempts to get a decent picture of both kids was a bust.  But you can kind of see the connection between the pictures.  I was mostly trying to get some cute pictures of Tessa in her headband.  I really wish the grass had been bright green but nothing will help that but rain. 

Silly baby.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Tessa's Room

This weekend, like everyone else in the region, we took advantage of the nice weather and headed outside to enjoy the nice weather and take care of some projects around the house.  I set foot in an Ace Hardware and Menards and both were chaotic.  Justin continued his constant garage organizing and I decided to take care of two small furniture updates that I have been wanting to do forever. 
 The little white shelf was in my childhood bedroom forever.  I can't remember where it came from.  I took it from there last fall and it has been irritating Justin in our garage ever since.  The metal table is some old 70's piece of junk from the farm also that I can't remember ever seeing used in a living room or anywhere else.  It is strong and stable but just never had a spot in our house.  I have been dragging it around for awhile and Justin has done nothing but complain about it the whole time.  I have been very close to just throwing it in the dumpster many times just to get him to forget about it.  This weekend I finally decided to get the paint to do what I have planned all along.  I painted the white shelf for Tessa's room, and I plan to put the table under a window near our patio door for a plant to sit on. 

So, now that the shelf is painted and in place I can finally, after all these months, post some pictures of Tessa's room fully assembled.  I know I have shared the color of the walls and the letters of her name but not the whole thing in cohesion!  It was a long time coming due to me procrastinating and also the fact that the room is generally a mess with clothes and toys and blankets strewn about.  Until yesterday, there was a garbage bag of hand me downs and also a plastic container of hand me downs needing to be sorted and put away.  There was also a hoard of diaper boxes in the corner which I love to keep for storing clothes but they really pile up. 

The color scheme is lavender with navy blue accents.  I had three weird old prints of kittens by some Japanese artist that I bought at a rummage sale many years ago before I was even thinking about having kids.  I wanted to put them in navy frames without spending what would add up to hundreds of dollars for professional framing.  Of course, finding the right navy frame was impossible so I ended up ordering some pretty cheap ones from a wholesale framing website where I was charged a small amount extra for only ordering three.  They were just what I wanted thought for a fraction of what custom framing would have cost. 
I love this wall collage.  Notice the fully completed "my first 12 months" frame.  Oh yeah...it wasn't done early but it has been done for a few months!  I printed photos and placed them in the frame for each month of her first year!  Ben has one too and they are both filled!  It's a small victory but it pleases me anyway.  The oval is a wicker framed mirror, also from my parents house and the other small frames are a 5x7 of Allan and a small framed picture of Tessa!  That small frame is also navy blue.  It was an oddball TJ Maxx find. 

I already shared her name months ago.  That little shelf above the closet is also a castoff from the farm.  I think it was in my sister's room. 

It looks lack like all the other blue accents, but the crib sheet is blue.  I ordered it from Pottery Barn on clearance.  So it's almost like this room could be straight out of a PB catalogue, right? RIGHT???

This little corner formerly held the pile of boxes.

Here is the little white shelf wearing it's new navy blue coat!  Those books don't stand a chance of being shelved for longer than a few hours. 

Here is the changing table area with the framed cat calendar pages that I had in Ben's room in our old house.  I splurged on a new purple fabric bin when she was born to replace the green one Ben used! 

Here is the newly cleared dresser which formerly was piled with birthday cards (yes from five months ago), books, and other debris that we wanted out of reach including a four pack of dead batteries from the baby swing. 

This rug is one of my favorite accents in the room!  I love rag rugs.  In my hometown, there was a resident at the nursing home who made rag rugs as a hobby.  I imagine there were several but in my youth there was one man who really churned them out.  He made so many of them which were sold in the gift store for like $8.00.  They were in every house in town.  Well, it was a nursing home so you know what happened and eventually the supply dwindled as the rugs faded and wore out.  My mom and I saw some at the Fargo street fair a few years ago priced at $35.00 and up and I was intrigued but I had to pass on that price.  Right before Tessa was born I saw these big ones at Kohl's with the typical Kohl's built in discount of 40% or 50% off which made them under $10.00!  I'm sure it was mass produced in Singapore or somewhere and not lovingly handmade in a nursing home activity room but I'll take what I can get. 

So that's Tessa's room!  I am proud of it and I love being in there when it is all neat and orderly although those times are rare.  We all know that depictions of stylish and organized kids rooms are generally B.S. 

*disclaimer:  Right before I took these pictures Tessa went in the room and opened a low drawer and pulled all of its contents out and spread them around the floor.  Also, the birthday card pile I was mocking is actually still there.  I just moved it for the picture! 

Thursday, April 9, 2015

When He Paid the Debt We Could Not Pay...

...And triumphed over the grave!"
 It's already Thursday so Easter is getting farther behind me.  We had a regular old Easter with egg dying, egg hunting, church, and cousins.  Oh, and as happens every few years, Easter weekend also included my birthday!  This year, it was not on Easter but the day before. 
On Friday night my sister and I decided to dye eggs with a Pinterest technique (well, it's older than that but she found it on Pinterest) of using food coloring and vinegar using the color combination recipes on the back of the food coloring box. 
Most of the colors turned out nice and vivid.  However, you will notice three muddled brown eggs.  Those were supposed to be pink and purple.  Eek! 
On Saturday we took Ben to an Easter egg hunt in Grand Forks.  The term hunt is not a very accurate word to describe this event because, as you can see, there was no hunting involved.  The kids were divided into age groups and provided with bags and they were allowed to fill their bag. 

When all the eggs were collected, which took about 90 seconds, the kids opened their eggs to find candy.  There were numbers in some of the eggs to correspond with bigger donated prizes, including toys and even a bicycle.  Ben got a number 2!  He had no idea what it meant but I had grand fantasies of rolling a bike out of there but it turns out there were hundreds of smaller bags filled with minor prizes and he won a dollar store pack of bubbles.  One of his cousins who hunted at a later time won pancake mix!  Weird, I know. 

Look at those eggs!  It doesn't look like it from the picture above, but there were hundreds of kids there.  I have heard horror stories about pushy parents and kids at egg hunts but I didn't see any bad behavior here even though a bike was at stake! 

Here is Ben with all those babies!  Tessa is the oldest baby by nine months and still has the least amount of hair. 

Here is the Easter tree I was fantasizing about making for myself a few weeks ago!  Look at all those cute ornaments!  My sister spray painted this branch with some metallic farm equipment spray paint she found in my dad's shop.  It was a nice effect. 

On Sunday there was a little birthday celebration for my an my cousin's daughter who turned one on March 30th.  There was someone else who would have been with us if he were still here, celebrating his 91st birthday on April 7th...my Grandpa Harold!  We shared many a birthday cake at Easter over the years. 

Here is a celebration full of 90's fabulosity! 
This is from the same day.  See that I am holding an Easter basket in my lovely nautical windbreaker?
While looking for some old birthday pictures with my grandpa I came across some old birthday and Easter pictures from the year spent in Yemen. 

Check out that cake!  I had that bunny cake many times. 

This is an Easter party for foreigners that we attended.  There is another picture of my brother with that bunny that shows it's face and it was a terrifying Easter bunny.  As is whatever that paper plate creation that is on my head. 
And there is our egg dying with the dye kit that travelled halfway around the globe to get to us! 

That is one serious flat of eggs!  That is also one seriously bad 1989 puffy paint t-shirt.  Yikes.  I loved it though. 

So that was Easter 2015.  It ended on a high note when Ben threw up all over the floor of the Ground Round when we were eating with my Grandma in Fargo.  Yes, you read that right.  Then it happened again in the car.  There was no buildup and no indication that anything was wrong.  He slept with a wastebasket by his bed and the next morning I woke up to him standing in the doorway of our room with the can saying "this goes in the bathroom!" then he ran down the hall and put it back in the bathroom and he was totally fine.  It was weird and happened at a very inopportune time.  Fortunately the waitress said that her son did the same thing three weeks ago and was very understanding. 

Thursday, April 2, 2015


Yesterday afternoon I was hurrying through Target when I noticed that one dozen eggs were 99 cents.  For the past few years I have just left the Easter egg dying for a visit to my parents house so I am not dealing with toddler mayhem by myself.  But for some reason, I saw those eggs, and I remembered the clearance PAWS kit that  bought a few years ago that was in the box of Easter decorations and I decided I wanted to dye eggs...TONIGHT!

As soon as we got home I started boiling the eggs.  I don't like hard boiled eggs so I don't really know the specifics about boiling them.  What I have learned is that you put the eggs in the water and then start boiling them.  I learned this the first time I boiled eggs in my apartment in law school.  I boiled the water and then put the eggs in and they all cracked!  It was bad.  But I successfully boiled these only to realize how long it takes them to cool.  Poor Ben.  He was going crazy. 

But finally...it was time to mix up the dye.  The sizzle of those little tablets as the vinegar is poured over them and the smell of vinegar in general has been part of Easter for me since I can remember.  My grandma even managed to ship us egg dying kits when we lived overseas in a country that didn't have store shelves full of Easter decorations and candy every year. 


Those are pretty nice!  I really love using those shrink wrap sleeves but with only 12 eggs I didn't want to take any away from Ben. 
Oh, what else...a few nights ago I removed this tiniest of tiny legos from Ben's nose with this tweezer!

All of a sudden I heard him crying and I was in another room so I assumed he had fallen and hit his nose but after the usual toddler post injury fuss should have passed he was still upset and kept picking at his nose.  When he said something about "stuck" I almost panicked, wondering how I was going to manage getting him to the emergency room late in the evening with Tessa already sleeping for the night.  Before I headed to the window to see which of my neighbors still had lights on I shined a light up his nostril and saw something up there.  I told him not to touch his nose again and ran for tweezers and he was so scared he just stood there.  Poor guy.  Fortunately I was able to quickly extract the lego without shoving it farther up or anything.  Crisis averted.