Tuesday, August 15, 2017

It's A...

So I had my ultrasound on Friday.  It was kind of a stressful morning because it was really early and we had to take all three kids with us.  When we took Ben to my ultrasound for Tessa he was around 16 months old and he and Justin had to leave the room after the tech showed obvious irritation with him being there because he was opening an empty cupboard under the sink.  She wasn't the most good humored tech we have encountered.  With Milo's ultrasound a friend offered to watch the other two so that was very lovely.  This time...it was so early in the morning I couldn't imagine asking anyone to take on the burden. 

Surprisingly, they were really good.  Ben and Tessa sat quietly and watched the screen and Milo sat in his stroller and ate Cheerios and was content until the last few minutes.  We decided to find out the sex this time (the biological part...every intellectual knows gender is a social construction!  DUH!  Every online birth board has a know it all who is glad to point that out!) and had a plan to reveal it with these fireworks which we bought after the 4th of July. 


This wasn't a plan that had a lot of thought behind it.  I saw them advertised on a fireworks stand's facebook page over the 4th of July weekend and we stopped at that store and they had them in stock still.  So back to the ultrasound...the tech was an intern and she seemed to know her stuff but at the end she said she was going to ask a coworker to come in and confirm a few things.  It turned out she was confirming the sex/gender/whatever you want to call it.  We had an envelope with a sheet of paper with boy and girl written on it for the tech to circle. 

As we reviewed the details after the appointment, we were unsure.  When she turned the screen to check that "area" she said "Oh, there it is" which kind of made us think it was a boy.  But the girl details are not as obvious so that would explain the double checking from the coworker. 

We waited until that night at the farm with our parents and my brother's family to light the fireworks.  Justin wanted to be the one to know first and light it but my brother ended up doing the honor.  And...


Yay!  Fireworks don't photograph well usually so if you are not quite sure since you didn't see it in person...


It's a girl!  Although when people asked the answer was always, "I'll be happy either way!" I had an underlying desire to have a girl so we would have two of each and so we could revisit the cute collection of girl clothing and accessories we have been hoarding in boxes.  Also, the boy clothes are looking a little rough.  I really would have been happy either way but it was definitely a special moment to see that first pink trail shoot into the sky. 

We then lit the blue one and it wasn't a very vivid blue.  It actually looked white.  If I saw it I would have wondered what color it was exactly so I'm glad the pink one was the main event. 

On a serious note, the biggest relief after an ultrasound is always seeing everything as it should be in there.  And everything was just fine.  No repeats for positions making it hard to see certain things, nothing to be concerned about physically and the baby was a good size and the due date is on track.  No one told me what it was going to be officially but the paperwork said December 27th which I have been told the 28th so not much difference at all.  The 27th is my dad's 60th birthday! 


I admit I'm a bit worried about a Christmas Eve/Day delivery mostly due to childcare chaos since our moms run the show on Christmas and no neighbor or friend is going to be thrilled to have three rambunctious kids showing up in the middle of their parties.  Hope for the best...hope for the best...

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

The Strangest Delivery

We signed up for Amazon Prime around Christmas time almost two years ago and since then, it could be anyone's guess what is in the boxes that regularly appear on our front step.  We've ordered huge cases of Keurig coffee pods, air compressor parts, charging cords for every electronic device imaginable, swimwear (that was a bust on my part...cheap swimming suits from China are not something you should buy without seeing them in person!), playdoh, jeans, a road atlas, vase filling gel balls and sunglasses to name a few things in my list.  I don't know what the weirdest thing we've ever had delivered would be.

Well, as of last week, we have a new winner.  And it didn't even come from Amazon.  Imagine receiving a box with this sticker on it:


We knew it was coming.  It was shipped overnight from Alaska. 


It's fish.  Salmon, specifically, from when Justin was there back in June.  His friend shipped it to him.  I don't want to know the princely cost of this service but it arrived here still frozen. 

I was pawing through it and pulled this pack out:


What on earth is that you ask?  Oh, just bear bacon! 

Ben is still talking about fishing constantly.  He drew this picture yesterday. 


It is him and Tessa fishing.  Those balls on the lines are the bobbers.  Tessa's fish is a sunfish and Ben's is a slimer otherwise known as a northern. 

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Ben's Favorite Hobby

There are so many factors taking kids away from the wholesome outdoor activities that have compelled them in the past.  I admit I love some animated TV and in my current state (pregnant, too tired to chase a one year old up and down the hill over and over again in 95 degree heat, too overwhelmed to take three kids to the pool in my ill fitting swimwear options, too little bladder control to take three kids to the playgrounds with limited bathroom options) I feel like I turn to TV and YouTube too often.  It has just been so hot and, although we are in a severe to exceptional drought, it has been humid.  Anytime we go anywhere away from the house  I feel like I need to bring a huge water cooler on wheels like a sports team would use otherwise pay the $3 price for bottles of water (I'm talking about you, Dakota Zoo!)  Although, I guess it's nice that they let you bring your own food and drink in instead of rifling through your bags so they can price gouge on everything.  What happens is the heat and humidity build all day, a cold front hits and thunderstorms form and then after some thunder and lightening they dissipate into nothing and the whole cycle starts again the next day.  Yesterday I watched our evening thunderstorm dump rain (for about three minutes) a few blocks away from our house but it missed us.  It's so weird and very strange to watch.  One thing I love about living on the hill we live in is watching the clouds roll in an seeing the radar happening live right in front of me.  Tonight we are planning on tackling the neighborhood pool with all the kids.  Justin is even going so Milo gets to come too!  I told them we might be able to go last night but the thunderstorm came and Ben has been talking about it since he woke up this morning so I guess he didn't forget overnight...dang...not that I don't love the pool.  I do.  It can be stressful with little kids though.

Anyway, the point I was getting to was is that I will encourage any activity the kids like that involves outdoor activity and real life skills.  Ben has recently become very interested in fishing.  Justin takes him to a friend's house on Devil's Lake.  They went a few times last year and also did some ice fishing there but this summer he has really started fishing on his own. 


Isn't it a huge lake?  It goes for miles. 


Those weren't all caught by Ben but this is an example of the fish population in Devil's Lake. 


This one ben caught all by himself.  Of course, he doesn't take his own fish off the hook yet.  He has been using his kid's Lightening McQueen novelty fishing pole but the line snapped and putting new line in was not easy like in a normal pole so Justin bought him his own "real" pole.  He also has his own tackle box with a small collection of bobbers and lures and hooks.

Last weekend, Ben got to hang out with his 2nd cousin Colt at the lake.  He's six and it turns out he loves fishing too.  He also has his own tackle box and those two sat and compared equipment for quite awhile.  They also went fishing and caught some sunfish and whatever other species are out there. 


Tessa also got to partake.  She is now the proud owner of a $6.00 clearance "Frozen" kid's fishing pole and she's so pleased with it.  I even caught a Sunfish with it a few weeks ago.   

Last time we were at the lake Ben kept talking about a minnow trap he'd seen in a video so I looked up how to make one and fashioned one out of an empty Coke bottle.  It was not successful but Justin told him they could get a real minnow trap.  There are lots of suggestions for bait out there and bread didn't work and dog food also didn't work...but the disappointment didn't last because apparently crawfish like dog food and, although it wasn't exactly trapped, this (very gross) guy was trying to get the food from outside the trap and someone caught him in a net. 

Pretty exciting!  Ben wanted to keep him.  I said he would be much happier in the lake with room to swim.  MUCH happier. 

This fishing obsession also continues at home where he makes everything with a hook into a fishing pole.  No plastic display hook from a pack of socks is safe.  We have one toy fishing pole I found in a dollar toy aisle during Easter basket season that gets played with daily and is broken is several places.  I hope it stays together for awhile because it really keeps the kids busy. It also causes regular fights but oh well...they have to learn to share.  We also have the much better quality pole from this fishing game Ben had to have (he did chores and earned "squares" on a chart for two weeks to earn it).  The bait is magnetic and he uses it to catch tractors and other metal toys.



The fish is battery powered and swims but it already quit working, not surprisingly.  I don't really trust electric things that can get wet.  But the pole is still a popular item.  Yesterday Ben was dangling it over Allan saying he was catching a "cat fish".  Poor Allan.  He is the opposite of a fish.