Friday, May 29, 2015

It's A...

Yesterday was the big half-way point that is eagerly anticipated during the early months of pregnancy.  It was ultrasound day!  I know some ladies get multiple early ultrasounds either due to complications or their history or based on the policies of their insurance providers or doctors.  I don't know what those companies are or where those doctors are because I've never had one before 20 weeks.  There is always some anxiety that accompanies an ultrasound because I have read and followed many families on social media who have faced serious health issues and birth defects that were revealed at the ultrasound and I know people in personally as well.  Also, there can be what they call "soft markers" which may indicate chromosomal issues and I have known people who have had these appear in ultrasounds although the baby almost always turns out fine.  But anyway, this stuff has always existed but now I feel like I see it all over the internet so I can't help but worry and I know I'm not alone in feeling this way. 

A friend watched Ben and Tessa for us yesterday morning, which made the whole experience more enjoyable and relaxing than it would have been with them in the room by far.  I started to relax as I saw the fully formed little baby moving around, yawning and clenching it's fists and doing other baby things. The doctor confirmed that everything was fine and I don't even have to have a repeat ultrasound in a month or two like I did with the others.  They were both positioned in a way that was made it hard to see certain organs. 

And, of course the big question...did we find out?  No!  We didn't!  We are not keeping it a secret or anything like that.  We decided to save the surprise for the birth.  This child won't be getting a nursery of their own and we already have plenty of girl and boy items so we will wait for the big moment in October.  It was hard to look away but I think it will be worth it.

When she was printing some still shots the ultrasound technician asked if our older kids understood what was happening and would be interested in the pictures.  I wasn't sure but she printed out an extra still of a foot.  I didn't know if Ben would get it but I was wrong.  He gets it alright. 

He has been carrying these around the house talking about the "baby in your tummy that is still growing and the doctor will help it get out!" nonstop.  Last night I took him shopping for new sandals and he had to bring the foot picture with in the car. 
Here are a few summer fun bonus photos that I have been meaning to share this week.
I have been thinking about getting a water table for awhile.  Ben loves to stand at the sink and pour water between cups and he loves those "water augers" that I posted about a few weeks ago and Tessa loves to play in the bathtub so I know they would like it.  Also, they have hundreds of good reviews online regardless of which brand you look at.  I found a good deal at Kohl's and it came on Wednesday when Tessa was napping.  We had to set it up right away and it was very popular and did what I hoped it would do, which is entertain them for more than five minutes and keep them from trying to run down the hill into the street. It also doesn't involve digging in empty flower pots from last year. 

Of course, Ben was sitting in it almost right away.  I don't understand this.  Whenever we fill a wading pool, which is a huge pain to do, he has always spent most of the time running around and throwing rocks and other debris from around the yard in it.  But he plopped down on this thing in no time. 

Tessa likes it too. 

Last night when Ben and I were shopping Justin took her out to play and it still had water in it from earlier in the afternoon and when I came home she was soaking wet down to her shoes and quite happy about it.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015


This weekend I attended a few graduation parties in my hometown.  One of them was for the youngest boy in the family I used to babysit for as a teenager and college student.  He was barely out of diapers when I started watching him which means it was many years ago and really has made me ponder the passage of time! 
High school graduation day at home, and in many small towns, is a festive day.  The ceremony is always on Sunday afternoon, and everyone usually has their graduation parties after on the same day.  Every year it is the same.  As the students line up outside the school to be congratulated, moms and helpful aunts and friends take off as fast as they can to beat their guests home and set out the food and drinks.  Everyone else mingles around for about twenty minutes in order to give those moms time to get their parties ready and plans out their party visiting strategy since everyone usually has multiple places to visit and they often fan out in all directions from town.  You want to make sure to be efficient by making a route and you want get to a house where you might want to hang out with the family for awhile last! 
I remember my graduation day with vivid details which came back to me this weekend.  I think it was because the day was warm and summery and quite similar to the day I graduated. 
Mostly I had a huge grin on my face the whole time.  I was nostalgic because that is my nature but I was also very excited about college and moving on.  Our graduation was late in the afternoon because a classmate's father was the superintendent of a school in another town who had graduation the same afternoon as we did.  As a result, parties were still happening late into the evening.  At around 9 p.m. the people who wanted to finish their night at our house were happily settled into chairs on the lawn and the screen porch with their beverages of choice and the school principal, who was friends with my parents, was wiped out after an exhausting day of making the graduation party rounds (my class had 28 kids so he probably visited at least 20 houses that afternoon) and decided to kick back in the living room in my dad's recliner.  I'll never forget coming downstairs from changing into my "party clothes" (which for the outdoor party I was heading to was jeans and a sweatshirt) and going to say goodbye to my cousins and finding him there and joking around for a few minutes. 
Yes, I had 28 people in my class which is shockingly small to some but was actually a very large class for my school.  I thought of my class this spring after reading the following article in Agweek, the agriculture publication produced by the Fargo and Grand Forks newspapers.  I used to read through it when I lived at home and my parents still had the newspaper delivered with our mail every day.  I would pretty much read anything that was in front of me on the table and Agweek often was.  There were lifestyle columns in addition to the technical farming stuff and they were usually very relatable like this one. 
This article, called "A Special Circle", says just what I want to say regarding the majority of my school years beginning in second grade.  I am not saying that I long for high school days or that I shed many tears when I left high school because I didn't.  But the connection between my circle of 28 will always exist as it does between many other small circles of all ages that exist out there in America. 
I graduated 5th or 6th (I honestly don't remember which!) out of my class, which earned me a spot speaking at our honors night the week before graduation.  I had a quick speech referencing the song "Forever Young" which my mom also referenced in her Valedictorian speech back in 1975.  I was inspired by it after seeing it used in a commercial with baby animals branching out from their mommy animals and I don't even think I have a copy of it!  I think I would have found it while cleaning my old room but I haven't yet.  It referenced having courage ("be courageous, and be brave, and in your heart you will always stay...forever yoooooung"...)  The courage spoke of that day couldn't even scratch the surface of the courage required to live an adult life.  Here we are, 14 years after that honors night, and long past the stage in life where we thought that the major hurdle in life to overcome was going to college and ending up with a job at the end of it.  Who could have imagined the adult things we would face as the years passed.  No one thought, back in 2001, that in 2014 one who sat there in our circle would have a baby with a congenital birth defect who would die at two months old and the rest of us would be struggling over the words to write to her in a sympathy card along with a donation to the Ronald McDonald House.  But who knows.  If she had a class of 400 instead of 28 maybe she wouldn't have received any cards from those old classmates.  Or maybe she would receive the same amount, just a tiny percentage of the people who walked the school halls with her. 
Occasionally when I was younger my dad would come inside in the middle of the day and change into church clothes and when asked what he was doing, the answer usually was that he was going to a funeral of someone because their son or daughter was in his class.  Those years will come for us as will the unthinkable years when we lose classmates and it's been 30 or 35 or more years and as we reunite to tell the same silly stories and call each other dumb old nicknames there will be people missing and we will be planting trees or something in memory of them.  And then 40 or 50 years will have passed and the class will consist of a small group of 68 year old grandparents riding on a float in the 4th of July parade, reminiscing about our juvenile teenage antics back in the 90s and 2000s.  I hope I can be there for that!



Tuesday, May 19, 2015

17th of May Letdown

*Edit edit!  Justin just pointed out to me that I said we had a septic tank issue...I meant sump pump issue.  So that means we had some water in the basement not what would come out of a septic tank!  Big difference!  How's this for a preview?

I had a few posting ideas for the weekend but it all went awry.  In the early hours of Sunday morning I woke up feeling that horrible I was going to throw up.  I told myself NO this is not happening.  But it happened...and it happened several more times.  Then I spent the rest of Sunday half asleep while trying to guard my abdominal area from children and cats and Tessa's constant board book assault.  Although by Sunday evening my illness was tapering off I still feel kind of odd today.  And Justin suffered all night Sunday and all of yesterday.  I have no idea where this came from.  I hadn't been sick like that since childhood.  Fortunately, it looks like Ben and Tessa are going to be spared.  THANK GOD because we all know toddlers don't understand the sensation leading up to vomiting all over and the necessity of getting to a toilet or garbage can lined with a plastic bag. 

What I would have posted about is my annual Norway trip reminiscence since it was the 17th of May of Sunday.  I saw in in person in Oslo in 2006 and will never forget it even though I was extremely jet lagged and disoriented. 

I have shared this photo before but it is the sea of umbrellas and people crowding Karl Johan Gate, a major pedestrian street in Oslo, that leads to the Royal Palace.  The palace was right behind me when I took the picture.  It's been nine years and I still remember so many details of that day.  Next year will me ten years since that trip so I will save a major post for then.  Mark your calendars!  Haha...

On Saturday the MOPS group I belong to had a large rummage sale so of course while working at the sale I acquired a few treasures for myself and the kids.  For myself I chose these two old watering cans, which were still waiting to be chosen during the last afternoon hour of the sale. 

I like them because they have a cool vintage feel to them. The yellow one is really cool.  I should have known that they would become the new objects of Ben's affection.  I let him play with them in the bathtub that night, and he named them his "water augers".  Get it?  Like augers on a combine?  He's pretty clever. 
The weekend weather was horrific.  It was even worse than last weekend, which I didn't think was possible.  Had the temperature dropped ten degrees we would have been stranded in a multi-day "Little House on the Prairie" style blizzard.  But instead we just had 3 inches of rain which washed out a lot of soil from behind the rock wall in the backyard and caused a septic tank overflow situation in our utility room which I noticed when Allan tracked muddy paw prints around the house. 
Ben can't wait to get into those dirt piles! 
OK, I have to go thoroughly sanitize the bathrooms now! 

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

10 Year Anniversary

The ten year high school reunion is a huge "thing" in American culture.  There are movies about it (I love Romy and Michelle!) makeover shows dedicated to it and weight loss efforts directed toward it.  Some people love to shun it, saying they don't care what anyone from high school is doing.  Other people, although it kind of is a stereotype and I don't know anyone who is really this way, want to go to show off how good they look or how rich they are.  I went to mine as most people from small classes do because small town reunions are rarely the fancy ballroom parties with hundreds of people present that are depicted in movies.  They are just fun!  And my generation has social media, so now we know what everyone else is doing and what they look like which takes away the pressure

There is another ten year milestone that no one ever speaks of, even though, arguably, it is a much bigger, costlier, more challenging deal. Today marks ten years since I graduated from college.   I suppose a college graduation milestone isn't as recognized because who is in your "class" is not as defined and a friend or classmate that you are close with might not graduate with you.  I figured out the day when May rolled around and I realized that it is 2015, and I graduated in 2005. I looked at an old 2005 calendar online and yes indeed, it was a Friday the 13th that my roommate's boyfriend (now husband) dropped us off outside the dome for our ceremony.  It was a disappointingly cold day, in the 40s, and we didn't want to bring coats because there was no where to put them so we wrapped our robes around our sundresses like coats and bolted for the door. Inside was a sea of strangers and friends in black robes who we whispered with and waved to during the several hours long ceremony.  Cell phone technology was not what it is today, so there were no pictures or online updates from the floor like there would be today, ten years later. 

Here is the professional photo that was taken right after exiting the stage (I think, I don't really remember!) which I purchased a small package of even though they were way overpriced.  I'm glad I did though because I want future generations to remember that I ever looked like this.  There aren't enough cosmetics in the world to replicate the youthful look of a real 22 year old, that is for sure.

Sigh, these photos bring up many thoughts about the directions I went from that day on.  I often wonder what I could have and should have done instead of what I did do but those thoughts can make a person plunge into dark places and I don't have time for reflection these days.  Just since writing this post I've been interrupted five times by Ben wanting candy, (I hid it and said it was gone even though I was eating some and he stared at my mouth full of chocolate for a few extra seconds...I think he knew!) juice, for me to turn on Curious George, for another snack after he was denied the candy and to ask me to clean up his Duplos that he dumped everywhere (I didn't help). 
During my younger college years, each semester was highlighted by the delightful phenomenon of graduation parties at the Holiday Inn.  The Holiday Inn in Fargo has a huge poolside and party area surrounded by rooms and for some reason they had no problem with people reserving rooms and wheeling in kegs each December and May.  People packed the place and mingled around as kids in swimming suits ran through the chaos.  I knew where RM and I had to have our party and another KD friend of ours also had her party there and there was a room of AGRs (Justin's friends and our neighbors) that also had a room there and we got the front desk to move our rooms all next to each other the week before graduation.  The receptionist gave a half-a$$ed lecture about how these rooms were not supposed to be used for huge parties and drinking even though she knew they would be and did what I wanted anyway without a fight. 
There is the date on the cake, May 13, 2005!  That dress I have on was a size that will never be seen in my house again, except maybe in my kids' drawers with a "T" after it.  The bottom picture is in front of KD, where so many other graduates have posed through the years.  The composite photos with our faces on them have probably been long demoted to the dorm hallways but part of that house will always be with me! 
So, on this boring date of Wednesday the 13th, 2015, as I sit with my damp post afternoon shower hair, trying to do my computer related business and leisure tasks between constant questions and pestering from a three year old, that I remember that day.  I don't know where my robe even is.  My sister wore it and then I think it was lost in the sorority community pool of special occasion garb and costumes. I paid the overpriced Jostens fee for the benefit of many.  I do have that medal, however. It was for an honor society I was in.  Maybe I will wear it around the house for the rest of the day, like a weirdo.  I have to point out that I only missed cum laude by one tenth of a point and after all the finals were calculated I think I did indeed have a 3.5 gpa.  SO CLOSE to having a gold honors medal like Ashley!  My 400 level classes were nothing to brag about in the difficulty department, let me tell you.  I didn't care enough to look into if I could have it added afterwards or if it did get added afterwards because I was going to law school so who cares, right?  Maybe I will look at my transcript later if I can remember how to find it.  I bet the old website is obsolete anyway. 
Update:  I just looked it up and honors are awarded based on gpa at the time of commencement:
Recognition in the commencement program is based on coursework that is completed and graded at the time of the ceremony. Courses that are in progress and not yet accessible online (via Campus Connection) are not included.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Mother's Day IV

Yesterday was my 4th Mother's Day as a mother!  Justin surprised me with a window picture frame made from an old granary window from my parents' farm.  There were a few old window panes from the little building that was formerly the shop.  In the old days it was a granary.  You can still see the evidence in the concrete of the floor.   A few years ago I made a jewelry holder out of one of the matches.  To start, it was white, covered in peeling paint and caked with dust.  The glass was cloudy.  Now it has shiny new glass and dark stain and some 8x10 mattes. 

I already ordered the 8x10s!

Here are my flowers.  The little bee was a hit. 
Speaking of flowers, gardening and planting was on the agenda for the weekend.  Unfortunately the weather was horrible and had the temperature dropped ten degrees we would have been trapped in a raging blizzard all weekend.  There was snow, in fact, that fell in big wet globs the size of ping pong balls but fortunately it didn't accumulate.  When snow wasn't falling rain was and the wind was fierce.  Last week was like summer so we went ahead and disregarded all zone 3/4 (I think we are in zone 4, but barely) gardening advice and bought plants in early May.  So now we have three trays of greenhouse flowers and vegetables living in the kitchen.  Of course the flowers are the focus of a lot of attention from two little kids.  So far, Ben has been gentle with them and this morning he pretended he was shopping for them and pushed them around in the toy shopping cart for awhile.  He is in a "no picture" phase so this was the best one I could get. 
The orange marigolds are his flowers that he picked out at the greenhouse and he loves them.  Whenever we stay home all weekend the house ends up destroyed and we were trapped inside so it's even worse.  I can't even artfully crop the photo to make it look like it's not there!  I have been threatening (only threatening myself because I don't think anyone else cares at all) to put the throw pillows away because they are ALWAYS on the floor and even end up in the kitchen and bathroom but we have nowhere to store them so they just stay on the floor.  Although the superficial clutter is horrifying in this house I promise I do clean.  I am very pleased with myself right now because I cleaned the refrigerator on Friday.  It was so bad and now it looks so good!  That is one horrific occasional chore that I am still happy I did because it is so easy to put last on the priority list.  A can of coke had spilled in there and dripped all the way to the bottom so it was a horrible sight even though I knew it was just harmless, non sticky diet coke.  I remember moving out of a campus apartment in law school and the place was spotless as the resident manager was checking me out and she opened the fridge to reveal that I had forgotten to empty and clean it at all.  I was horrified and she gave me 15 minutes to throw everything into bags and hastily wipe the shelves. 
Here is a tray of flowers hanging out on the metal end table I spray painted last month. 

I guess the sun must have shone for a few seconds based on this picture but I don't remember it happening!
Here is the kitchen table covered in plants!  The sun really brings out the yogurt smears on the table. I thought those were cropped... 

I can't wait to get these in pots and in the garden! 

Friday, May 8, 2015

Sisterhood Tag

Back when I was in college, which for me started in 2001, there was no Facebook or social media.  It was the early days of internet connectivity.  We all sat in our dorm rooms, downloading illegal music and chatting on the fabulous msn messenger.  You could hear those little "blup blup" noises ringing through the halls as girls received messages and everyone's computer always had little blinking rectangles on the task bar at the bottom of the screen.  There was also a trend of emailing surveys to people which they would mail back to you and send to their friends with lists of questions to answer so you could get to know them better.  Some people would get really in depth and serious and some would just try to make their friends laugh!  I'm sure you can guess which type I was...haha.  My friend Dana, who writes the blog The Green Acres Report (you can see it on the top of my blog roll list on the right.  It appears that I have some obsolete blog over there that need to be refreshed!) tagged me in a fun event, the Sisterhood in The World of Bloggers Award, where we answer questions about ourselves that might not come up on a blog otherwise.  As a former email survey lover, I can't turn this down!

1. Why did you start your blog?
In 2006 I embarked on an adventure of studying abroad in Norway with my law school classmates.  Everyone told me to email them pictures and tell them about what I was doing.  Blogs were just becoming a "thing" that a person could easily make on their own even if they didn't know how to write code and design webpages.  I found Blogger and set one up once I arrived and regularly posted on "Law School in Oslo" while I was there.  I still like to look at it sometimes because reading it and looking at the pictures brings me right back there.  I stopped as soon as I returned home but a few years later we were buying our first house and I was also unemployed and bored so I decided to make a new one so I could post pictures and talk about what we were working on.  Soon, it was a fun diversion that I looked forward to adding to whenever I could and people told me they looked forward to checking it everyday and that it made them laugh so I kept posting. It is still a fun way to use my brain when I feel like I am going brain dead from toddler B.S. on a daily basis and is a more convenient and affordable hobby than many of the other things I would like to be doing such as sewing or decorating. 
2. What is one thing you can’t live without?

Hmmmmmm...this is makes me a stereotype of my generation but I have to admit it is the Internet.  Also music. And the Internet brings me music in ways I never imagined as a young teenager!  I love it!

3. If you could travel one place, all expenses paid, where would you go?

This is hard to choose but probably back to Norway or to the Middle East to see the places my family frequented when we lived their for a short time when I was 6/7. 
4. What’s one of the scariest things you’ve ever done?

Taking the bar exam.

5. When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

So many different things that changed regularly.  I wanted to be an author in early elementary school and when I was really young, like preschool and kindergarten age, I loved airplanes and I don't remember wanting to be a pilot but I had this lego rescue plane so I suppose I wanted to be a rescue paramedic or something I didn't know how to verbalize at the time.  As I got older I wanted to be a fashion designer and as a teenager I thought it would be a dream job to design athletic shoes and uniforms.  By my senior year I had no idea and couldn't even commit to a college major until I had been in college for three years.  I guess everything seemed boring and unattainable compared to those old childhood dreams!

6. Who in your life has influenced you the most?

Of course my parents and family.  I think that is what anyone who grew up in a functional and happy home would say. 

7. How do you like your steak cooked?

Well!  I don't like seeing blood in my food!

8. What are some of the first things you do in the morning?

First, I wish I could sleep more even though I have never been a person who sleeps in really late.  Just ONE TIME I would like to wake up when I feel like it instead of when someone else feels like it.  Oh well.  Then I change a diaper, get my kids milk and food, and get myself food because I'm always starving.  Then I try to drink tea or coffee and watch or read the news in peace but it never happens.  Oh, and kids TV shows are always turned on during this time.  Judge away.  I don't care.

9. What is one of your favorite quotes?
I love quotes and words.  Right now I will choose a favorite old Bruce Springsteen line from the song "The Promised Land",

"There's a dark cloud rising from the desert floor
I packed my bags and I'm heading straight into the storm
Gonna be a twister to blow everything down
That ain't got the faith to stand its ground
Blow away the dreams that tear you apart
Blow away the dreams that break your heart
Blow away the lies that leave you nothing but lost and brokenhearted..."

Of course, it has more of an impact with Bruce screaming over the loud orchestration of music in a live recording (very intense) but to me this means overcoming challenging times and facing your problems head on and coming through them without losing yourself. 

Also, since I have a legal education I have to include something from law, right?  Since my 1st year Constitutional Law class I have been moved by the following majority opinion by Justice Kennedy in Lawrence v. Texas (which basically said that what people do in their own bedroom is no one's business but their own as long as it doesn't hurt anyone else).

"Had those who drew and ratified the Due Process Clauses of the Fifth Amendment or the Fourteenth Amendment known the components of liberty in its manifold possibilities, they might have been more specific. They did not presume to have this insight. They knew times can blind us to certain truths and later generations can see that laws once thought necessary and proper in fact serve only to oppress. As the Constitution endures, persons in every generation can invoke its principles in their own search for greater freedom."

It's so true, isn't it? Think of all the dumb old laws (Slavery?  No vote for women?) that we have set aside.

10. What is your favorite season of the year? 

Summer.  I'll always be a lifeguard at heart!  Now that I have little kids, I love it because warm weather greatly reduces the hassle of going places.  Not dealing with coats and hats is so liberating!

Now I am supposed to tag some other ladies but as you can see I need to do some updating in the blog roll.  These people all have jobs so I get it.  I read many blogs but many of them are about sewing and fashion and have hundreds or thousands of followers and they have no idea who I am! 

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Draft (You Know You Were Waiting!)

The NFL draft is over.  To my dismay, I didn't get to watch it.  I had to pick Justin up at the airport that night (not at home-I had to drive an hour from my parents' house to Fargo) and it was just ending when we arrived back there at 10 p.m.  I thought I heard my mom say she recorded it but she actually meant that she recorded the TV show "Draft Academy" which featured John Crockett, an NDSU player hoping for the NFL. 
However, I was able to see some good draft footage while watching the most recent episode of Draft Academy, which was being filmed almost live.  There were only a few days of lag between the current weekly episode and real time.  It was a good show.  It is interesting to see how the players (ahem, Jameis Winston, where those crab legs worth it?  How about the soda at Burger King?  How about playing with that BB gun? And the Marijuana three days before the draft, Shane Ray?) were coached to address their various character issues and he sure had a ridiculous list of them. 
Part of the fun of the big production that is the first round of the draft is seeing the players in their suits (which I learned from the show are just brought to their rooms in a bag, all coordinated and styled) with their crazy hairstyles.  On Draft Academy I saw a nice style that caught my eye and it was worn by Todd Gurley, who also was drafted by my adopted team the St. Louis Rams! 

Of course all of the photos are after he was drafted when he has his new team hat on but believe me, it was an artistic display of hair that is rarely seen.  He seems very likeable.  Of course, I looked at his Wikipedia and sure enough he was suspended in college for violating NCAA rules about taking money for autographs and memorabilia.  And not just a few times.  It was hundreds of pieces of autographed memorabilia. UGH.  So many issues...
Once again, my opinion that having kids "specialize" in certain sports at a young age to be more competitive is pointless was maintained.  Of the players I researched, many were dominant not only in football but other sports as well.  Jameis Winston is such a good baseball player that he was drafted into the MLB right out of high school but decided to go to college instead where he also played on the baseball team.  Gurley was a track star in high school and represented team USA in some junior world competition.  Marcus Mariota, the 2nd overall pick, was also a track star in high school.  Putting in lots of time is essential, but can only get you so far I guess if you don't have some sort of exceptional underlying athleticism. 
Speaking of that, this guy wasn't drafted but signed with the Vikings earlier this spring.  His name is Babatunde Aiyegbusi.  He's 6'9, 350 pounds and 27 years old.  He never played in college and he's Polish where American Football barely exists!  Whaaaaat?  Where did this guy come from?  There isn't a lot of information about him out there.  He has an extensive Wikipedia page but, not surprisingly, it's in Polish. 


He was a security manager in Poland.  Gee, I can't imagine why.  No one would try to pull anything that might violate security if this guy was in the vicinity.  Hopefully we will see him playing this fall.

The best part of the draft was hearing of the NDSU players who were drafted (yeahhhh Kyle Emmanuel!) and signed as free agents.  I was disappointed about Crockett not being drafted after seeing him go through the ups and downs of being an underrated player in the draft process but I think he will prove himself with the Packers.   

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Splash in to Summer

When I think back to my childhood, I recall one of my favorite aspects of summer being running around in a swimming suit all day and playing in water.  Most of this time was spent actually swimming at the swimming pool but there was plenty of activities involving sprinklers, water fights, water balloons, wading pools and the good old garden hose with it's icy water straight from the chilled underground reservoir that supplies the rural areas of Traill County with delicious and perfectly flavorless water.  Dang, do I love drinking hose water.  I know there is a library of articles saying that this is bad and hose water is full of chemicals leached from the hose.  This research is from the last few years but I am just going to pay attention to the evidence of generations of adults that are walking around who did this as children who had nothing happen to them.  The research says it's not as bad as long as you run the water that has been sitting in the hose out first.  Well, obviously, everyone would do that before drinking it because who wants the hot sun water?

This weekend we were at my parents house for farming and it was legitimately hot like summer on Saturday.  My dad took Ben with him to hook up the garden hose and of course the inevitable happened.  He ended up soaking wet and covered in mud since my parents haven't landscaped around their house yet and they live surrounded by a gravel pit full of weeds.  I only brought one pair of shorts for him and one pair of tennis shoes since he doesn't have sandals for this summer yet.  As a result, he ended up spending most of Saturday in this getup:

I happened to have his swimming suit with and his rain boots have been in my travel shoe tote bag(yes, I have a tote of shoes that I bring with me everywhere) all spring.  Perfect! 

Time to head out to the field! 
The morning before we came home, Ben was out in a field somewhere and picked up an assortment of dried corncobs from last year.  Now they are his treasures.

Yayyy...dried corn seed in the living room!  Actually, I don't mind.  The entertainment he gets from it is worth it and it's not that hard to clean up.  The challenge is keeping Tessa from interfering with his farm setup.  There was also a very traumatic incident where Allan plopped his body down on a pile of corn so he could relax. 

Monday, May 4, 2015

She's Heeeeeere!

I'm feeling a bit of a let down this afternoon.  Why, you ask?  Because after several weeks of waiting around watching for CNN updates on my phone the royal baby has arrived and all the major questions have been answered.  First, she was born quite a few days overdue.  Apparently the bookies really made a lot of money on the birthday.  And we know she is a girl now, a princess (eeeeek!). We know what Kate wore to leave the hospital and this morning we found out the name!  Now what am I supposed to obsess over?  The world won't see another picture for quite awhile unfortunately (for us, fortunately for the baby and family, I understand that). 

Now, everyone has something to say about the small glimpse we have seen into the birth of this baby.  I think we can all agree on a few things....

AWWWWWWW!  This baby, who we now know is named Charlotte Elizabeth Diana, is just too perfect.  And this little hat and snuggly white blanket are even more perfect.  It makes me excited to hold a newborn again.  I read some really outlandish theory from the Russian news or tabloids or something that some people think the baby looks older than the approximately 10 hours old that she was at the time of her public presentation but I don't think so.  Here are my own babies during their first day of life and I think they look pretty similar! 


The story continued to theorize that Kate used a surrogate and there is NO WAY that a person who had a baby a few hours before could look that slim and beautiful.  Which I think most people agree is a ridiculous theory, although really...


What the WHAAAAT?  How does she look that pretty?  I have already viewed several articles and blog posts from many humorous moms out there that are being shared all over social media who have already covered what we all are thinking...which is universally a comparison to how we all looked a few hours after giving birth and in those early photos at the hospital.  It's already been said so I won't go too in depth but I think we are all in awe of that shining, bouncy hair, perfect makeup, church appropriate dress that cost $2,000, and...
of course some nude high heels to finish the look.   A dress that is white on the lower half...she is brave.  These photos will be around forever, though, and they are exactly what all of us baby watchers waited to see so I admit I love them!  
And finally, the name...I like the name Charlotte and I am kind of surprised they picked it since it has been at the top of the bookies' list all along.  I read that the top choices were Charlotte and Alice and if either of those two were chosen the bookies would be losing big time.  I guess it balances out the win from the overdue birthday.  As far as the middle names, my middle name is Elizabeth so I certainly approve and Diana was an obvious choice too.  I know they deserve privacy but I reaaaaaallly wish we could see more pictures and know just a few more details!  Oh well.  Apparently there is a contingent of busy bodies out there who don't approve of the family leaving the hospital only hours after the birth.  They think other women will try to do the same which is dangerous.  Are they serious!?  No regular woman (unless she does home births) would want to go home from the hospital after a few hours!  Especially one with a toddler in the house!  The hospital is like a vacation!  Of course she went home, to her royal palace, because she has royal doctors and nurses at her disposal and a nanny and a cook and every luxury.  And why would the hospital stop her? The resources of England are being used to guard and barricade that place.  People should be happy they are leaving early and paying for one less day of  the police guarding a hospital instead of fighting crime and keeping creepy photographers and reporters from infiltrating the place.  This sure doesn't make me think I should leave the hospital the same day as I deliver.  Or maybe I should and before I go I should get to have a professional hair stylist and makeup artist get me ready to go! 
OK, now back to my regular life...