Wednesday, December 31, 2008

First Laugh

Ben & I went to Minda's to scrapbook last night, and we each worked on a layout. Benjamin worked on a new skill:

Saturday, December 27, 2008


I'm making you something for Christmas...

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Child of God

We had Benjamin's Baptism this morning. He was a trooper. Now comes the fun of sorting through all of the beautiful photos that were taken...

So glad that Dave's flight finally made it last night!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Watch Me Grow

Weight: 7 lbs 12 oz
Length: 20 1/2 in
Weight: 7 lbs 4 oz
Length: 20 1/2 in
Weight: 7 lbs 11 oz
Length: 20 1/2 in
Weight: 10 lbs 11 oz
Length: 22 3/4 in

Benjamin had his 2-month checkup yesterday. All was well. He had 3 shots, poor baby!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Two Months Old

My eyes are brown. Dave's eyes are brown. So, based on dominant vs. recessive genes, our babe's eyes are...
Becoming more blue every day.
I think he looks a little like his half-brother (who has brown eyes) and a little bit like my brother, Pete (brown eyes). Where did this kid come from, anyway? I have no idea. It's really too bad that he's not mine because I'm crazy in love with him.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Finally...Caught on Film

He's been rewarding everybody with big smiles for a few weeks now, but would quickly stop once a camera appeared. This morning, dressed in his first pair of denim overalls, he was nothing but grins!

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Back to Work!

After 9 weeks off, today I'm back to work... 10 hour days, 3 days a week this month. I started this morning by calling the helpdesk and having them help me reset my password so I could log on... Even if I could remember what it was, it would have expired by now, anyway! I have 600 emails in my inbox... 10 weeks of policy updates to read... Better get my coffee and get busy!

Oh!! I went downstairs to get some coffee, and I saw that not only had someone from the Rosemount Armory stopped and shoveled the driveway, he was across the street helping the neighbor finish his. God bless him!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Ben's First Roadtrip!

My parents, Benjamin and I left on Friday (11/21) afternoon. We drove about 5 hours the first night, and stopped in Portage, WI. Ben did well, only getting fussy in the evening when we were all ready to quit for the night anyway.

Saturday morning, after a stop at Cracker Barrel for pancakes, we got on the road again. We drove south through the length of Illinois, and stopped our second night in Paducah, KY. The highlight of my day was a stop at Bob Evans for supper. No, I take that back. The highlight was the big grins that my boy started giving me on a regular basis.

Sunday morning we left Kentucky and headed through Tennessee, and into Georgia. We were passing through Nashville just in time to get briefly caught in the traffic from the Titans football game. Finally, about 1200 miles later, we arrived in Augusta and met Dave at the motel where my parents were staying. After they were settled in, and we were all fed, we went to Dave's apartment, where Ben and I stayed.

Monday morning, Ben and I went to Fort Gordon with Dave, so that I could get a new ID card. Once that was done, I went back to my parent's motel room. Our big adventures on Monday included a trip to WalMart, and then TV and naps for everybody. But it felt good to not have to drive.

Tuesday, while Dave was in class, we decided to go to the Waffle House for pecan waffles, and then we thought we'd go and walk along the Riverwalk. Do you think I could find a website that gave driving directions to get to the Riverwalk area? Nope. So, armed with a general idea of where we needed to go, and the map from the phone book, we headed out. After a few wrong turns and unplanned trips to South Carolina, we made it to the Riverwalk. It was a little windy and chilly, so I made sure that Ben was as snug in the front pack as I could. We walked 1.8 miles, and also walked through the cemetery at St Paul's church. After that, we realized we were fairly close to the farmer's market, so we decided to find it and see about buying pecans. Well, it was not in South Carolina, no matter how many times we went there by mistake, so eventually we got turned around and on the right road, and found the market. Between my mom and I, we bought about 30 lbs of shelled and unshelled pecans. (Mmmm... I can hardly wait to start Christmas baking now!) We also checked out a few thrift stores in the area before heading back to the motel for... tv and naps.

Wednesday, my parents packed up at the motel, and I packed up at the apartment, and we headed to Fort Gordon so that Dave could show off Ben, and then have lunch together in the mess hall. It turned out that they were serving Thanksgiving dinner, and it was very good. But, no naps for any of us after our turkey, because Dave went back to class, and we drove the four hours to North Myrtle Beach, SC. Dave had found us a deal on a 3-bedroom condo, right on the beach. We relaxed and rested, and Dave was able to join us several hours later.

Thanksgiving Thursday! Even though there are Waffle Houses on every block in Augusta, we looked and couldn't find one. So we went to another pancake house, and had a lovely breakfast. We bundled Benjamin into the front pack, and took a three mile walk along the beach. We ate a quick but yummy supper, and then went to The Alabama Theater to see their Christmas show. It was really fun, the singers and dancers were very talented. Ben liked the lights and did really well through the show.

Friday, we headed an hour up the road to Wilmington, NC to see the battleship North Carolina. We spent most of the day there, and then headed back to North Myrtle Beach for ice cream. Then Grandma & Grandpa babysat so that Dave & I could go out for dinner together.

Today we went to Dixie Stampede, and then stopped at Bass Pro Shops on our way back to the condo. And tonight Ben took a nap on Grandma's lap while Dave & I visited the hot tub.

Tomorrow we'll say goodbye to Dave and start our trip home. It's been really fun and of course gone much too fast. When I look at my photos from the trip, it seems to me that I have a picture of the sunrise and a picture of the ship, and about 300 pictures of Benjamin. Oh well, he was one of my favorite things to see every day, anyway.

Greetings from South Carolina!

In a little while, we're off to go walk around for a while and then go to The Dixie Stampede. I'll write more details about the trip later, but here are a few pictures of that boy...

Thursday, November 20, 2008

What's a "Vacation"?

Tomorrow Ben, my parents and I are leaving to drive down to Georgia to see Dave. We figure it will take two days, give or take, a lot depending on the boy. We'll spend a few days in Augusta while Dave has classes, and then we're heading to Myrtle Beach for a few days. I'm so excited, but have quite a list of things to do before we leave!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


Quite a few people have asked how Missy has been since Benjamin arrived. And she's adjusted well. When she came home from Dave's brother's, she ran upstairs where I was nursing the baby, and she smelled him and licked the top of his head. One other time, she licked his face... but we're working on teaching her to NOT do that. I think she sees him as a part of me.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Rats! No photos...

This weekend, Benjamin and I were out and about... and the camera was with me, but I didn't take any photos! Bad mommy.

But my brilliant boy... last night, he slept SIX hours, ate, and then slept another FOUR hour stretch before he ate again. We'll see how tonight goes!

Survivor Week 7

This week, I decided to dig into some of my "vintage" photos, and as soon as I found this one, I knew I had found the perfect photo for the poem I had picked. So this page is dedicated to(and starring) my cousin Laurie!

This week is about Vintage Scrapbooking! Yes. We are following some guidelines that were mainstream when your grandmothers kept scrapbooks.

Your layout instructions for this week:

* create a frame or border. many vintage postcards were created with fanciful decorated borders.
* vintage written sentiments were often poetry. your journaling should be a poem, yours or someone elses.
* alter your page with paint, ink, rubber stamping by using Tim Holtz's November tutorial found HERE.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Survivor Weeks 5 & 6

Week 5:
* create a layout, of any size
* mat your photos on white cardstock
* your pictures should be arranged like you got them from a photobooth
* they should tell a story
* fall is in the air so use leaves on your layout-fake, real, chipboard or stamped
* paint on your page
* journal in your own handwriting & use numbers

Week 6:
* your title of your layout MUST be the name of a piece of Pink Paislee's paper.
* your picture must be larger than 4x6, no smaller pics.
* take a piece of flowered patterned paper, cut out the flower/flowers and use them on a layout.
* show us your family.

Sleep, Baby, Sleep

Benjamin is three weeks old already! And I'm sure that someday he and I will sleep longer than three hours at a stretch, right?

At this moment in time, he sleeps around three hours, and then I feed and change him, and he goes back to sleep for another three hours... if I'm lucky. Some nights, like last night, he wakes up after an hour or an hour and a half. Not so much fun. But it's just a matter of time until his tummy grows and he will sleep more, so I'm hanging in there.

What I love most? He's very snuggly. Oh, and the yawn. His yawn is priceless.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Thursday, October 30, 2008

New Kid in Town

Benjamin's already old news... He has a new cousin, Tayla James, who was born yesterday. She was 6 lbs 14 oz, and she and mom are doing great!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The Story of Benjamin - part three

So we waited, and waited. Then the nurse came in and said that she was still having trouble getting a good read on my contractions monitor. They checked my progress again, and I was only at 7 centimeters. It had been several hours since I had made any progress. My blood pressure was still very high, and Ben's heart rate was starting to decline. Dawn, the nurse, was very sensitive and cautiously told me that it was time to think about other options. I knew that she meant a c-section and I said, let's do it.

They prepared me for surgery, and gave Minda scrubs so that she could accompany me and take pictures of Ben. A short time later, they took me to the OR. The room was cool and bright. I met the anesthesiologist, and the CRNA. I liked them a lot, I felt very secure with them taking care of me. We talked about the music on the radio, about golf, and about Kim Jong Il. They increased my epidural so that I didn't have any pain.

The thing I hadn't expected from a C-section is how long it took. I mean, I'm very glad that the doctor was not rushing, but it felt to me like it took forever before I heard one gurgling cry... then a pause, again, so very long... and then another gurgling cry, and then I heard the healthy cry of my boy.

They cleaned him up a bit and wrapped him up, and then brought him to me so that I could see him, and touch him with my free hand. He was absolutely amazing. He went back up to my labor & delivery room, and they finished my surgery. Then they took me back to my room, to finally hold my baby.

Monday, October 27, 2008

The Story of Benjamin - part two

We made our way to Fairview Ridges Hospital, and before long, I was in the labor & delivery room. I met my first shift nurse, Connie, and she got me hooked up to the monitors. Then she took my blood pressure... and it was quite high. She had me lay on my left side, and when she took it again, it was a little better, but still high. Up until this point of the pregnancy, I had never had problems with my blood pressure. So I didn't know exactly what to think about it. When the nurse was out of the room, and I felt another contraction starting, I decided I would be more comfortable sitting up. She came back and explained that I MUST stay on my left side. She dimmed the lights, and before long, started an IV of fluids and a small amount of pitocin. They broke my water, and discovered that there was meconium staining, so that would be something that they would need to watch. (Non medical speak: he pooed in the pool) At that point, I was dilated between 3 and 4 centimeters.

Laboring on my side was miserable. There was nothing that I could do with my body to work through the pain, other than to breathe. So I did my best to work with it mentally as much as I could, and it was so wonderful to have Minda and Raina there, rubbing my back, and constantly encouraging me.

I hadn't wanted to stay in bed, so I hadn't wanted an IV, and I hadn't wanted an epidural for that reason, plus I was concerned that I'd have a reaction to the medication. But I talked to the anesthesiologist, and since things were not going the way I had hoped, I decided I wanted an epidural. Whew! Loved that. I was still stuck on my side, but at least I didn't feel the pain of the contractions. They checked me again sometime around this point, and I was 6 centimeters.

Minda & I hadn't watched Dancing with the Stars from the night before, and Raina had never seen DWTS, so we watched it online on Minda's laptop, while we waited for things to get going. Any time now...

To be continued...

Sunday, October 26, 2008

TallyScrapper Survivor Game: Week 4

Week four is over, and I did get it done... I just didn't post it here!

For this challenge you are to create a layout inspired by a CD or record cover. Your layout must look similar to your inspiration. You must include a pic of your CD cover or record cover AND since Baby Heil was born on the 14th (also my birthday) you also must include a list of 14 things that you like.

The Story of Benjamin - part one

Ben is napping, it's snowing, for pity's sake, and so after more than a week of intending to write down the birth story, I'm finally getting around to it.

First off, at my appointment on Monday, when I was 40 weeks and 5 days, it was decided that I would be induced on Wednesday, October 15. So with that decision made, I made plans for what I would accomplish on Tuesday, and Dave bought plane tickets for Wednesday morning.

Naturally, Ben had other plans. Tuesday morning, I woke up around 3:00 and was having contractions. I had "practice" contractions for several days, so I didn't think much of it, and eventually dozed off for a little bit. They woke me up again after 5:00, and shortly after, I decided I wanted to get up and move around. I washed the dishes, and then tried to watch a tv show, but I couldn't focus on it. Still, I wasn't completely sure if this was it. Finally around 8:00, I started making phone calls.

Raina and Minda came, and we played Phase 10. I'm quite sure I lost but I don't know who won. About the same time we finished the game, I was ready to go to the hospital.

To be continued...

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


I owe several people phone calls, and several others emails... but my baby is napping and my bed is calling me...

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Introducing Benjamin Gary

October 14, 10:54 pm
7 lbs, 12 oz, 20 1/2 inches long.

Friday, October 10, 2008

TallyScrapper Survivor Game: Week 3

This week's challenge is to:
- Use the sketch below
- Use the title "Everyday Life" and layer it
- Use a single month calendar with wings on it
- Use pictures and journaling about that month
- The lower right hand corner of your calendar should say 2008

I read the challenge after it came out yesterday, and I flat out HATED it. There is too much structure, I didn't like the title... yes, pretty much, hate at first sight. I thought, ok, kid, you need to come now because I don't want to do this challenge. And then, I at least came up with an idea using some beautiful pictures I had seen of someone else's family on someone else's blog... And a layout grew from there. Ahem, if you own these pictures, and you notice one tiny tiny piece of revisionist history, please don't bust me...

And so I present...

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Get Out....

I'm ready for this baby now. Missy & I went for a mile and a half walk this morning, and since then, I'm feeling pretty achy. But so far, no hints as to when he's coming...

Thursday, October 02, 2008

TallyScrapper Survivor Game: Week 2

This week's challenge is to:

* use the word Journey on your layout
* use a chipboard alpha that has been painted and has different sizes
* use NAKED chipboard embellishments
* your layout must contain some pink

I decided I wanted to use an old (old old) photo that I hadn't used before. This was taken in Norway and I believe given to my grandmother when she visited 30ish years ago. The only clue to her exact identity was written on the back: "Marg og ku" (Marg and cow)

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

We Made It!

October 1st... that was my goal. I wanted to be able to work today. From here, whatever. You see, on the 1st of the month, I earn 18 1/2 hours of vacation time, as long as I'm not out on leave. With that secured, I can now relax... although I am still hoping that he decides to arrive late in the day on the 8th or the 9th.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

TallyScrapper Survivor Game: Week 1

Just because I'm crazy, I signed up to play a game on TallyScrapper that lasts the duration of the Survivor TV show. We'll see how it goes! Really, creating one page per week is not really that much of a committment... yes, I'm saying that now...

Anyway, this week's challenge had all kinds of funky requirements:
* must be 12x12
* must have a stitched edge
* must have a paper pieced tree
* include an owl, bird, hedgehog or deer
* have 2 photocorners
* journal on a cloud
* 3 photos
* and title it Life Is Beautiful

Sunday, September 21, 2008

But is it contagious?

I've come down with a severe case of PREGNANT. Luckily, there's a complete cure.... but the side effects last a lifetime.

Whine, whine, whine! I'm big and my head aches and the braxton-hicks are kicking my butt...

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Minnesota Renaissance Festival

I wasn't sure if I would make it this year, but I did go to the Renaissance Festival today with Dave's older brother and his family. We got there about 9:30, in an effort to beat some of the heat (80 degrees today!) and the crowds. That was smart. Since the last few weekends the weather has been crummy, it's like all of Minnesota came out today to enjoy a last taste of summer before cold sets in. By 1:00, it was packed, so we wrapped it up and left around 2:00. While we were there, we enjoyed the performers, the food, and a few of the shops. For years I've wanted to get a Christmas ornament from the glass blowers; this year I finally did.

And now, bed!

Friday, September 19, 2008

An Eclipse?

This was actually last week, I was taking a few quick pictures of some scrap layouts... I knew I didn't have the right lighting to get a good photo, but these were going in the mail so I thought, what the heck. First photo, forgot to turn the flash off. Second shot, flash off, arms tucked close to the body to hold the camera still, don't bother checking the viewfinder to see I've got more belly than page...

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Copying Minda...

What Lisa Means

You are relaxed, chill, and very likely to go with the flow.

You are light hearted and accepting. You don't get worked up easily.

Well adjusted and incredibly happy, many people wonder what your secret to life is.

You tend to be pretty tightly wound. It's easy to get you excited... which can be a good or bad thing.

You have a lot of enthusiasm, but it fades rather quickly. You don't stick with any one thing for very long.

You have the drive to accomplish a lot in a short amount of time. Your biggest problem is making sure you finish the projects you start.

You are the total package - suave, sexy, smart, and strong.

You have the whole world under your spell, and you can influence almost everyone you know.

You don't always resist your urges to crush the weak. Just remember, they don't have as much going for them as you do.

You are usually the best at everything ... you strive for perfection.

You are confident, authoritative, and aggressive.

You have the classic "Type A" personality.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

I Bought a Boat

I was looking at Craig's List, and I saw this boat and it was too cute and too cheap to pass up! The only trouble is that it was in South Minneapolis (very close to Nancy's, actually) and it took a little bit of navigating to get around the construction.... Getting home was easy though, once I figured out what streets are still open.

It's solid wood, and needs a little TLC of sanding and touch-up paint. Right now it's in my living room, because it's too heavy for me to get it anywhere else :)

Monday, September 08, 2008

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Five Weeks, so they say...

My due date is in five weeks. Things are going well, I'm feeling pretty good except for the typical aches and pains. He squirms around a lot and to my mind has very bony hips and knees. I have an appointment next Monday, and from that point on, it all remains to be seen. I'm hoping to be able to work until October 2, and then take time off after that. Will he cooperate?

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Who's a Pretty Bird?

My brother's cockatiel, Phreddie, doesn't have self-esteem problems.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

High Hopes

Yesterday was a fun day. I woke up with an urge to get out and do something. It was a perfect day for it. So I went to Scott & Minda's, where we went for a walk together, and then after Scott left for work, we went to Centennial Lakes and walked around and took photos. So fun. In the evening, I took a bubble bath and relaxed.

Today I had high hopes that I would be able to get a number of things accomplished around the house. So far, I washed the dishes, but now I'm in bed with an ice pack on my back. So, pooh. I'm hoping a nap will help both my back and my outlook.

Friday, August 22, 2008

It's Baby Season...

Here they all come...

Jenny, someone I've worked with since I started at Aetna 12 years ago, welcomed baby Danielle this morning... J, my telework buddy, and his wife, Renee, will welcome baby #3 by C-section next Wednesday... Stacy & Chris have about three weeks more to go until little Cody is expected...

Theoretically, it's my turn after that... in about six weeks... and then Chris & Jamie's baby girl around three weeks after that.

Why, why am I not making baby congrats cards right now?

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

As Promised

Photos from the shower, courtesy of Minda!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Baby Shower!

Yesterday Minda & Carrie threw a baby shower for us at Origami in Minnetonka. It was really fun. Of course I liked the food. I think almost everybody else found something they liked too. We had a good time, a delicious dessert, and we received many wonderful, thoughtful gifts.

But ONE gift did actually steal my heart. Tami made it and sent it from New Hampshire. I absolutely love everything about it and I know the baby will too. Isn't it awesome?

More pictures to come...

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Tawny Scrawny Lion Soup

Remember this book? The lion learns that he can be happy, sleek and fat by eating carrot soup. Tonight, for supper, in a successful attempt to avoid the grocery store, I made carrot & zucchini soup. Why carrots & zucchini? Because that's what I had. I've had carrot soup before and it was a nice pretty color. Mixing in the zucchini, the color isn't quite as attractive, but it turned out really quite yummy. I did have one near accident with the blender and boiling hot soup... an immersion blender is definitely on my wish list. Here's how it went:

Carrots, Zucchini, & 1 small Onion, finely chopped to make about 6 cups total.
4 C water or chicken stock
2 cloves garlic
3 tablespoons butter, just for fun
1 teaspoon basil
1 teaspoon thyme

In a large soup pot, bring above to a boil, cover and simmer 12-15 minutes.
Let cool slightly, and then puree in a blender. (Make very sure the lid is on securely. Really.)

When serving, I stirred in a tablespoon of sour cream, and then used salt & pepper to taste.

Makes 6-8 cups of soup.

I've had something similar as a summer soup that was served cool. But today I have a cold and a little fever so I wanted nice warm comfort food.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Every Girl Crazy 'Bout a Sharp Dressed Man

Yesterday I received two big bags of hand-me-down baby clothes, all sized 3-6 months or less. So last night I washed and sorted clothes, and I carefully sorted out things that I didn't really like, things that were unisex but looked a little girly, or things that were stained and stretched. This kid has plenty of itty bitty clothes, trust me. Think I'm kidding, or misunderstand how many outfits a child can wear in a day? Here's an example: This child has more than 35 "day" outfits (sized 3-6 months or less). Seriously. Stop the madness.

I was happy to find this in the bag:

Especially for Dave and Keitaro!

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Lawzy, we got to have a doctor!

I don't know nothin' 'bout birthin' babies.
--Prissy, Gone With the Wind

Well, that's not completely true, since I went to childbirth preparation classes this weekend. I learned a lot of good information, and a lot of things that I have to think more about. Today we were practicing our swaddling and diapering skills on dolls. I picked an asian-featured one who turned out to be a girl. Sigh... I can dream, can't I?

After a crazy, busy week, Dave loaded up his truck and a U-Haul trailer and left for Georgia on Friday afternoon. He arrived in Augusta this afternoon. His next time home will be to see the baby...

Monday, July 28, 2008


Dave got home Friday night, and Saturday morning we got right to work looking for a new vehicle. We found a 2003 Ford Explorer and I love it...

Friday, July 25, 2008

Prayers - Keep 'Em Coming

Yesterday morning, Stacy's husband was in a motorcycle accident. She sent out this message last night:

Be in prayer for Chris. He was in a motorcycle accident this morning. Wasn't wearing his helmet so he's banged up really bad. Took the doc almost 2 hours to get his face stitched up. His right leg is broken. They'll have to do surgery in the next day or so. He'll be in the hospital for a few more days and then he'll have a long road ahead for recovery with his leg. Doc is saying about 8 weeks before he'll be able to use it properly with full recovery estimated at 6 months. My prayer is that they'll do another scan and be amazed at how well his leg is healing and they won't have to do surgery at all.

Thanks to everybody who already has been praying for Chris & Stacy.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Hospital Tour

Last night Fairview Ridges had an information session and tour. The tour and the speakers were interesting, and it was also interesting to see other pregnant ladies. I think most of them were due in August & September, and my October belly looked pretty small in comparison. Anyway, the nurses that I met were all very nice and informative. Then we went on the tour. Everything was nice, both the labor & delivery rooms and the postpartum rooms. But, the rooms are small. And that brought into very real terms the issue of visitors. There are just two chairs and the bed, and I think any more than 4 people would be really claustrophobic. So I'm going to have to think about how to discourage visitors without hurting feelings...

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Another Sunday

The week hasn't exactly flown by, but here it is, Sunday again. Last Sunday I had a bit of a meltdown, but all in all now, a week later, things are looking better. I mean, the things at the root of the meltdown are better, and that's good because this week has it's own collection of meltdown-inducing challenges. Ha.

I let myself get a little dehydrated this week, and that wasn't so good. I'm still feeling lethargic and am struggling to drink enough water. Not sure what's up with that.

My van became ill this week, and I took it in and found out the transmission needs to be replaced. I'm waiting to get a few more estimates before we make a decision on that.

And then there's a family situation that I'm trying to work through...

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Nearly Neighbors

I'm so glad that my Aunt Sandy is back in the Twin Cities again. (for half of the year, anyway!) My cousin and I have been trying to get together for a couple of months now, and we finally found a date that not only worked for us, but also worked for Sandy. So we met for lunch at Jake's in Eagan. I had a fantastic time and I'm hoping that we can make a habit of it.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Preferred by 4 out of 5 Polar Bears

Here's another marketing idea that kinda went off in a wrong direction. Now with more baby seals!

Minnesota Military Appreciation Fund

Do you know about the Minnesota Military Appreciation Fund?

After the Storm

Two things... The neighbor that has this swingset also runs a daycare. How sturdy was this thing to begin with? And last night, while the parents surveyed the yard, their kids were playing on the thing. I think I'll pass on checking into them as a daycare option...

Sunday, July 06, 2008


This weekend was filled with some fantastic times, and so many opportunities to take great photos. And most of the time my camera was... in my bag. Friday, Saturday, Sunday... I was satisfied to let others take the pictures. Or in the case of going out for dinner, we had no pictures. (Hello, camera phones take mediocre pictures, but they're better than nothing!) I think when I am around other people with cameras, I become passive. I think, I'll just get a copy of their pictures, and that's either good enough, or often times better than what I'd take.

But then I think about last fall in New England, and all of the pictures that were taken during that trip. At the same time, at the same event, we all had different points of view, and different "voices". That's something I need to remember-- to let my voice be heard... and to pull out my camera and unabashedly take those photos!

Now... who wants to email me some photos from this weekend?

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Chuck a Duck? (aka WHY can't I remember I have a camera phone??)

No takers on the chuck a duck reference? Nobody? Or is that why the ASPCA truck is sitting outside my house, doing surveillance? (kidding...)

Well, here's the story anyway. So suffer.

Yesterday, I was leaving the parking lot of the library/county offices, and as I was about to pull out into the street, a mama duck and a half a dozen tiny fuzzy ducklings crossed the driveway in front of me.
awww....just picture them, a la "Make Way for Ducklings"...

The mama duck jumped up over the curb and onto the grass. The very tall curb. The baby ducks, presented with what was essentially a concrete wall twice their height, milled around the gutter trying to figure out where the heck their mama went.

I think, although I do naturally have a soft spot for animals, that it's these darn pregnancy hormones that caused me to be completely compelled by these ducks. All of the babies were clear of my path. But I couldn't drive off without seeing for myself that each one had made it up onto the grass. Luckily, nobody was behind me, as I sat in the driveway (like a crazy person) and watched them struggle to figure it out. Finally, one brave duckling managed to jump/flap/scramble his way up the curb. And that gave the others hope... so one by one, the others figured it out...
You know already, don't you? One of 'em couldn't make it. Poor little thing was hopping and flapping and crashing back down that inch and a half, and panting and looking pathetic, all the while peeping and making pathetic noises, while the Mama meanwhile is quacking away... She turned back to see where her straggler is, and naturally, all the other babies start making like they're going to jump down and back into the driveway.

I had no choice. Again, hormone-compelled, I put my car into park and got out... I carefully approached the duckling, scooped him up and tossed him (he landed face first, I regretted that) into the grass. He got up and joined the family, as I ran back to my car... finally another car was behind me, probably wondering what kind of nutjob I was.

The pregnant kind, sir. The pregnant kind.

Nursery Tree

This is how it goes... Yesterday morning, I saw something similar in a Pottery Barn Kids catalog. Yesterday afternoon, I made it at Minda's. And last night, I hung it on the wall. Well, I have to take it down, attach the owl a little more permanently, and put some clear coat over the whole thing, but...

Darn cute, isn't it? I had to see it on the wall.

Oh and yesterday, I (gently) tossed a baby duck. Good day.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Just for Tami...

25 1/2 weeks. Shoot, there was another picture that had more of a profile shot. I might have to track that one down tomorrow.

Doula Doula Doula Doula...

Up until probably six months ago, I hadn't heard of a doula. My first introduction, oddly enough, was on Gilmore Girls reruns, where Luke's loopy, hippie sister had a doula for her home birth, and decided to name her daughter Doula. Weird. Sounds too granola for me.

And now, I want one.

I'm not going to try to describe what they do, especially when I can just link you over to this cool website.

I talked to one yesterday over the phone, and she told me about classes that I can go to, to meet and interview doulas. She also told me about Operation Special Delivery, which, when I found it on the internet, it brought tears to my eyes.

I don't think I qualify for free doula services, since Dave is at a pre-deployment training, but I contacted them anyway and explained our situation. We'll see what they say. Otherwise, I'll have to start panhandling for spare change.


Before I had even finished this post, I had an email response from Operation Special Delivery that we DO qualify for free doula services. Praise the Lord!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

I'm Getting Taller.

I've decided that must be it. Because suddenly, I'm noticing, I can't see my feet as well as I could before. And I spilled something on the floor, bent down to clean it up, and gosh, the floor was further away than it used to be.

(The fact that I can no longer look down and see what color underwear I'm wearing, well, that's a personal problem.)

Or perhaps my nearly 42-inch belly has something to do with it. Just maybe. This week has marked the beginning of the "uncomfortable" stage. It's not too bad at all yet, but I can tell where it's heading. (Wait... not to say that morning sickness was a "comfortable" stage...)

The babe has a distinct preference for kicking my right side. He's particularly active in the evening, and usually snoozes while I'm working.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Just Like a Real Dog

She's a pretty girl. She likes to be outside... in small doses, and on her terms. And then she wants to go back inside. She doesn't want to be wet, she doesn't want to get dirty. But every once in a while...

she forgets...

and she lays in the grass like a real dog.