Sunday, July 31, 2011

Sunday Serenade...


"I know it late. I know you're lonely. I know your plans, don't include me. But still here we are. Both of us *hmm hmm* *la da dee daaaa*, why don't you stay?"

:)

Didja like it? I've got a wonderful singing voice. Perhaps you've heard it before?

Anyway. Weekend = LOVE! Had a great one. Discovered that our garden is going to be bountiful (as long as this "early blight" doesn't wipe out our tomatoes...), enjoyed our church bazaar, celebrated my father-in-law's (should that be capitalized?) 70th birthday, and discovered something.

Something good.

Something good for me.

See, I've long thought I hated running. Ranked it right up there with bike riding (I'd rather poke myself in the eyes with hot pokers while sliding down a razor blade into a pool of alcohol, than ride a bike. It hurts me butt bones.). But I've had enough with being lumpy.

I have a destination wedding to attend in 5 months. On a beach. In Mexico. I WILL be wearing a bikini...and I WILL be looking decent enough in it to feel good about wearing a bikini in Mexico.

So, after "talking" (you can call emails "talking" right?) with Amanda, my inspiration, I went for a run. And you know what?

It wasn't half bad! I dare say I even enjoyed it! So I did it again the next day! TWO WHOLE DAYS! (I know, whoopie. Woo hoo. Two days. Big deal.)

My secret? Music.

Forever and ever, whenever I run (ran?), my breathing has screwed me up. I get so caught up in hearing myself breath (I know, stop laughing) that I just said, "BAH! Forget it. I quit. This sucks. Gimme a bag of chips."

Well, me and a little "Dynamite" and a bit of Katy Perry and some "Stuck Like Glue" and we did it. My route is just over a mile and half, but I figure it's a good way to ease into it. Plus, there's this very daunting hill, which I walk up, and it has become my goal to run up that damn hill. Once I conquer the hill, we're on to longer treks!

Now, I'm off to get some beauty rest. Big day tomorrow. The Pal starts his District Baseball play-offs, Hambone has the summer bug that has coursed through our town, and I've, well, I've just gotta manage it all.

Hope you all had a fabulous weekend!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Monkey See...


Monkey Do.










There is nothing better than plunging yourself into the depths of the Mississippi on a scorching hot Minnesota day.

Nothing.

And this is why I don't want summer to end.

PS...you totally need to check this Rocket Club song out. Describes MinneSOOOOta/MinneSOOOOtans poifectly. LOVE it.


Friday, July 29, 2011

Five Question Friday!! 7/29/11


Hey there, hi there, ho there! This week has been all goofed up for me, my work schedule was different and it totally threw me...so it doesn't feel like Friday!


Well, Teya (aka "calfie") has been successfully moved to her new (old) home back on the farm. More on that later.

I can not believe that it's almost August. I am so not ready for summer to be over. Our spring seemed to last forever, so I feel like summer just began. And I am DEFINITELY NOT ready for school to start.

Anyway, before the weekend gobbles me up and poops me out like some bad Mexican food, let's get this Five Question Friday party going!

Welcome to 5QF, new and old! I hope you will enjoy yourself...I have found the 5QF is my "get out of jail free" card for blogging. A post that is fun and easy to do!

Rules for 5QF: Copy and paste the following questions to your blog post, answer them, then watch for the linky post to appear on Friday morning!

Questions for Friday, July 29th: (Special thanks to @katieb38, @ByGollyMsHolly,@MarandaLamping, Sandy, and Pam for their question suggestions! Wanna be linked in a future Five Question Friday? Well, c'mon over to my community or watch for my Twitter shout out on Thursday mornings and offer up your best question suggestions! Remember to@5crookedhalos me using hashtag #5QF if you go the Twitter route!)

1. Vow renewal ceremonies-yay or nay?

2. What sound/s annoy you the most?

3. If you had to pick, would you have only all boys, or only all girls for kids?

4. Do you believe in alternative medicine?

5. Would you take a family member's children and raise them if they needed it?

------------------------------------------

1. Vow renewal ceremonies-yay or nay?

*Thinking long and hard* You know, here's where I stand on vow renewal ceremonies.

I'm not a nay. But I'm not a yay.

I think, that if you have had marital struggles, issues, obstacles that you have overcome and have recommitted yourself to your spouse, the yes, I do think a vow renewal ceremony would be appropriate. Perhaps even necessary.

But a renewal ceremony for an anniversary? Meh. If you've made it to 15, 30, 70 years of marriage, you've got a good thing, no need to renew anything. "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."

One more "however", though. Say you take a big, special vacation to celebrate a special anniversary. I see nothing wrong with renewing your vows, just a small, special, intimate ceremony with you and your spouse, while on vacation.

The end.

2. What sound/s annoy you the most?

There is no competition to this one. If your "most annoying sound" isn't what I'm about to say, then clearly you haven't experienced the most annoying sound.

EVER.

The most annoying sound, hands down, is...*drumroll please*

A mosquito. Buzzing in your ear. While you are trying to sleep.

I kid you not, I have lost ENTIRE nights of sleep because of one damn mosquito, hell bent on driving me to the edge. Seriously...it's like they taunt you.

bzzzzzzzzzzzzz *quiet* bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz *closer* BZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ *so close you can feel the draft from it* BZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ!!!!!!! *right into your ear*

3. If you had to pick, would you have only all boys, or only all girls for kids?

Oh gosh. I'm not sure that I could!!

Prior to having kids, I totally thought I was a "girl mom". Now that I have some of each, I think I'd go bonkers with just one "kind"! ;)

When you hear people tell you how different boys and girls are, then you have a newborn and think, "hmmmm...well, besides having to take cover when changing a diaper, boys and girls really aren't all that different", then that newborn grows up, and WHAM!!!

Those differences have never been so glaring! The way they handle conflict, the rough and tumble vs. the emotional roller coaster. So different...but, BUT...if you MADE me choose?

Well, I have to say the emotional roller coaster gets rather old and sometimes annoying.

You tell me which gender is the "emotional roller coaster". ;)

4. Do you believe in alternative medicine?

I believe that there should be a balance. I do NOT think one way or the other is the best answer.

Making your body perform at it's best is key, tossing in pills for this and that and then more to treat the side effects of those? Not good.

Does cancer need Western Medicine? Yes.

Should you also seek alternative therapies to assist your body in doing all it can to fight it off naturally? You betcha.

Balance. It's where it's at.

5. Would you take a family member's children and raise them if they needed it?

Abso-stinkin'-lutely!! Of course, I would need to consider the situation and determine what is best for our family, but if a family member's children were slated to go to foster care, I would take them in.

I know there are a lot of fabulous foster families out there, but I also know there are some awful ones. I would want to protect those innocent children from anymore upheaval in their lives by taking the chance of sending them to a foster home that is less than ideal.

The Mr. and I have, actually, lightly discussed fostering. I would love to be able to be the supportive and loving home while a parent either gets their life together or a family who is longing for a child goes through the adoption process.

We'll see. Time will tell, but yes, I would take in a family member's children.

In a heartbeat.

---------------------------------------

I hope you have a wonderful weekend!



Thursday, July 28, 2011

Thursday Night 5QF Sneak Peek!!


OHMAHGOSH!! I almost forgot about the Sneak Peek, what with moving calfie and all.


Okay, quick one. Down and dirty.

For you Five Question Friday newbies, welcome! This is your chance to get a sneak peek at the questions for tomorrow's Five Question Friday link up!

Rules for 5QF: Copy and paste the following questions to your blog post, answer them, then watch for the linky post to appear on Friday morning!

Questions for Friday, July 29th: (Special thanks to @katieb38, @ByGollyMsHolly, @MarandaLamping, Sandy, and Pam for their question suggestions! Wanna be linked in a future Five Question Friday? Well, c'mon over to my community or watch for my Twitter shout out on Thursday mornings and offer up your best question suggestions! Remember to @5crookedhalos me using hashtag #5QF if you go the Twitter route!)

1. Vow renewal ceremonies-yay or nay?

2. What sound/s annoy you the most?

3. If you had to pick, would you have only all boys, or only all girls for kids?

4. Do you believe in alternative medicine?

5. Would you take a family members children and raise them if they needed it?

-------------------------------------

Okay, now I'm off to get children to bed, then to work on my very own 5QF post for tomorrow's link up!


Photogs...you've gotta check this out!


Several weeks ago, I was surfing around for some reasonable backgrounds for doing photography work. For whatever reason, I was drawn to etsy, and soon I discovered the work of "photopropguy". I was entirely intrigued by what he called "2FERs", but I was hesitant.

A "2FER" is a background that is 3 1/2ft wide x 6 ft long, with a background on the top 3ft and a faux floor on the bottom 3ft. They are made from a sturdy polyvinyl paper that is tear (more on that in a second...) and water (blot, don't rub) resistant.

I worried that it would be too small and/or hard to work with or limiting, but I LOVED the looks that were offered with them, so I shot him a message, and soon we had an agreement, "A 2FER for a review".

Fast forward through shipping and several photoshoots, and I am in love.

L-O-V-E.


The 2FER is perfectly perfect for children's photography. I love the multitude of options available on photopropguy's etsy site...and I LOVE the distressed faux floors that come on the lower half of the 2FER.


They are reasonably priced at $75.00 and when I mentioned "sturdy" above, I mean sturdy. Initially, I was worried about the durability of them, since they are a "print", but lemme tell you something...


When I was shooting this baby girl, her 2 year old brother was right by my side, hanging onto my makeshift background stand (aka a "drying rack"), when he lost his balance, fell into the background and pulled it out of the clips holding it on.


What happened? Not much at all. Not a single tear or rip, only a small crease that I can barely see...but with the force that he fell into the background, I can say without hesitation that these backgrounds are incredibly durable.


"Two year old tested", durable!


Here are a couple of (not so great, but gets the point across) shots "pulled back" so you can get a feel for the size...something I was initially concerned about, but learned they are perfect for children's photography! (FYI...they have 5ft x any length backgrounds for adults/groups/seniors, etc.)



I also discovered that with a little creative flipping, you can get even more use from a 2FER. That fun faux floor? Flip it around and it becomes a funky, distressed background!



The perfect white on the back of the 2FER? A white on white background!


I would recommend on of these backgrounds to anyone, without any reservations! Amateurs, professionals, dabblers, hobbyists...this is a product that will give you a lot of mileage!

And fer jus? (Translation: "For you"...) for the month of August, if you friend PhotoPropGuy on Facebook and mention I sent you, you can get 10% off your order! Shop the etsy store or their website shop (which has discounts on shipping with multiples).

(2FERs also come with instruction for a DIY background stand!)

**photopropguy provided me, for shipping cost only, this background in exchange for a review. All opinions expressed are my honest feelings on the product and there was no compensation for a positive review.**


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Sneak Peek...


Just today...


A photoshoot with my Goddaughter!


LOVE the turquoise with her eyes...and pay close attention to the background. I'll tell you all about it tomorrow!


Dental Drama.


Now, before you come to conclusions that I'm horrible with my kids teeth, I'm not. They just drew the short straw when it comes to teeth. They go the dentist every 6 months, no fail, they brush every night...the thing I slack on is flossing.

And fluoride. I am convinced that fluoride definitely makes teeth stronger. Let me tell you why...we've always had well water where we live. Well water = non-fluoridated. City water = fluoridated. Save for a "defect", the Pal has had no cavities, and was consuming fluoridated water while I attended college.

Our four younger kids? All of 'em, ev'ry single one of 'em, are country bumpkins. Even when we lived in a development, it was still well water. I didn't believe fluoride was that important...and I've learned my lesson. Belle and EW have already dealt with cavities. And then some.

So, a while ago Belle had a cavity filled. Then, within the last year, she developed a cavity ON TOP of that filling, and needed to have that tooth capped. Over this past weekend, she had a filling fall out on a different tooth, then, a mere three-ish hours after returning from the dentist, I got a phone call from her, nearly in hysterics, that her cap fell off.

FOR FREAKIN' REAL?!?!?!

Back to the Pal...when he was 3 we discovered the enamel on 4 of his molars (2 year molars?) was weak. The dentist likened it to a birth defect, in that somewhere in the development of those teeth, something happened (antibiotics, fever, etc.) that damaged the enamel. He needed three of those 4 teeth capped, and a filling in the 4th.

Those 3 caps (done by the same dentist above) lasted until those baby teeth fell out...the filling, however, fell out and needed to be replaced...with a cap.

Here's where I show my frustration. This seems excessive to me. I have always loved our dentist. He is personable, great with the kids, efficient, seemed to be skilled...but now I'm questioning that last part.

What are your experiences with this? Dental professionals, is this as extreme as I'm thinking it is?

I feel awful for my kids. Feel horrible that they are needed to go in so many times for procedures to fix what I perceive as errors.

We haven't had to pay a dime for any of these revisions, but money isn't the issue. It's the stress and time on my kids and our home that is getting to me.

Thoughts?


Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Joe...Part Two.


First things first, my friends, let's clear something up. Kelli...Joe is OURS. Hands off. You hear? Don't you be wooing him over to those dang (but awfully dashing) pinstripes with promises of World Series and stuff, mkay?

OURS. End of story. ;)

And, Andrea. Andrea, Andrea, Andrea. Mauer. Joe Mauer. 6 feet 5 inches of pure, athletic handsomeness. *swoon*


Okay, onto the "rest of the story"! So, we get to the game, and, mind you, the Pal is a HUGE baseball fan so he's ticked that we get to go and he's staying home, and I text him a picture from our seats, asking "How're these for seats?"

His response? "Let's just say I wish I was there, you suckers!"



Turns out that "Target Field" ranks right up there as one of the best stadiums, "not a bad seat in the house". I don't know who hands out these "rankings", but I'll take it. MinneSOOOOta needs some of these "the best" rankings. And, I'd have to agree...Target Field is pretty awesome, even to my inexperienced eye.

The game ended up being a "pitcher's battle"...3 up, 3 down, 3 up, 3 down. Not a lot of action with hits and runs and outs and plays, but (if you are as into baseball as the Pal is) apparently it's still just as exciting to watch a pitcher's battle play out.

As much as I love baseball, I've gotta admit, after a few innings, I was more interested in what I could score to eat than what was going on on the mound. I've discovered pitcher's battles aren't really my thing.

But then...BUT THEN!! Bottom of the 9th, and we're down 0-1. My handsome Joe gets a walk, Cuddyer ("cuh-DYER" like dye. Hair dye. dyer.) gets a hit and with "aggressive base running" (as I was so informed by my son) gets a double...so we have runners at 2nd and 3rd...and guess who's up?


Jim Thome. Who? You say? Well, I'll tell you... Jim Thome recently hit his 596th home run (psh...I could so do that)...and it was a 490 ft homer. He CRUSHED it...but that wasn't this game. Anyway, they intentially walk him. (No tries. Just pitch him the ball, fer dang sake.)

So now, it's bases loaded.

And, Joe's biggest competition (for my admiration) is up...Danny Valencia (seriously, he is adorable. These boys are so stinkin' cute I can hardly stand it.). And...

And...

And he hits a single (I was so informed, by the baseball "know it all" in our family, that it was a "walk off" single...as in, it was the hit that won the game that allowed the team to "walk off" the field. Now you know.) and Joe-baby and Cuddy score and WOOOOO HOOOOOO!!!!! The crowd goes wild!


Then my phone vibrates and I see a text from my baseball fanatic that says, "You two hardly pay attention all season then you GET TO SEE THE BEST GAME OF THE YEAR!!!!!"


Poor kid. I actually felt a little guilty.

For a second.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Joe...He's Huge.


Wow...where does the time go?! I meant to write about this right after we went, but I guess the crippling heat devoured my brain and my energy and all ambition I had to formulate some sort of interesting and captivating post.

Well, fear no more! (Wait...were you fearing?) I have the "Twins Post" for you!

Twins...you know, the baseball team? Not the two babies at one time thing.


Okay...focus, mama...so, last week, the Mr. and I (and his brother and his wife) received some Twins tickets for a Tuesday evening game. Having never been to the brand new Twins stadium, aka "Target Field", I said, "HECK YES" to that gig! (Plus, there was the added benefit of seeing my boyfriend, Joe, playing a little ball. Shhhh...he doesn't know he's my boyfriend, so let's just keep that between you and I, okay?)


We arrived way early and, oh, let me interject...this game was SMACK DAB in the middle of the sweltering heat wave that threatened to kill off all of MinneSOOOOOta with heat stroke...had ourselves a little "sociable" before we set off for the stadium.

Wait...another interjection here...my SIL. She's 31 weeks pregnant. Heat wave. Pregnant. Labor Nurse. Let's just say I'm lucky I'm still alive with all the "Are you okay?" and "Do you need anything?" and "Are you SURE you're okay?"'s that were coming out of my mouth. Lucky for me, she's patient and/or very tolerant and just kept repeating to me over and over that yes, indeed, she was okay.

I've gotta tell you...living in rural MN, where baseball fields are around every corner and turn and sometimes even in people's backyards, it was quite the sight to see this ginormous stadium right in the center of a metropolis.


We walked up to the stadium, and suddenly the smell of hot asphalt (and my failing deodorant) was overcome with the scents of a baseball field...mini donuts, hot dogs, french fries...actually, it was just, plain and simple, the smell of grease.

And it was heavenly.

Being we were still quite early (and the small minor detail of needed to meet the dude that had our tickets) we burned some time walking around ("are you okay?" "are you too hot?" "do you need anything?") and having a bite to eat and a drink.


We finally got our tickets, made our way inside, and were surrounded by "Princesses". Seriously. Chicks in tiaras and sashes and boas. And they were walking around the field. And suddenly, the Mr. bolted ahead and started talking to the one in front of us (whose husband, I kid you not, had sweat marks in the shape of angel wings on his back. I kinda wanted to stick by his side...).


We found out she was a former Centennial Queen or Princess or something or other...to be honest, I didn't care. I had one thing on my mind.

Number 7.

Boy's a hottie. And, kid can play some ball. Apparently, he had the option of playing football or baseball in college. Read an article once that said he and some buddies got together for some pond hockey and he was the best player...even though it was his first time on skates.

Gotta appreciate that kind of athleticism. (Even if there was the whole "bilateral leg weakness" thing this year. I'll forgive him.)

And, holy man is this post long! Stay tuned for Part Two of "Joe...He's Huge."



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