Saturday, December 28, 2013

What we have been doing this week:

1. Working.

2. Christmas with my family.

3. Sledding.  (@ Leslie and Adam's with yummy dinner to follow).

4. Going to the movies.

5. Going to birthday parties and witnessing lots of people having babies.  

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Gender Reveal

We had Christmas with my mom's family and as part of the surprise we did a gender reveal present to find out what we are having.  We took a quick poll prior to the opening and the majority said girl.  AND....


Sunday, December 22, 2013

Secret Santa

So Santa isn't remembering to come every day, but when he does it is lots of fun.  
Today he didn't bring an ornament but a fun project that involved rolling marbles with paint and gluing on lot of odds and ends to make a snowman.

Maybe we will make a real snowman today too.  It snowed last night.  Makes me feel like Christmas break is here.  But I still have to work tomorrow so that puts a little cramp in the relaxation.

My birthing team had their home visit and I feel more prepared for the birth.  I have a great support network.  And though I am a little uncomfortable physically, I really like being this big with baby.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Dear Santa, Please don't bring

Link has been awesome this year about getting presents.  Every time he gets a gift he says "I'm so lucky," and he really means it.   He is also aware that not all kids have toys and that he has a lot.  We are starting to try to get rid of some toys but it is a struggle, for me more than him.  I love toys and have thought often of opening a toy store, but Link plays with mainly one or two things.  I also wonder if baby #2 might be interested in the toys.  So maybe storage is the best place for toys right now.

The thing that Link really wants this year is a C3P0 Lego figure, but he is working on getting one himself with tickets he receives for being helpful.  He is happy with whatever he gets though and when people ask me what he wants I often just think of things he wouldn't like.  There are a few sensitivities and lack of interest that he has that are pretty present.

So, if Link were to write a letter to Santa, I think it would go a lot like this.

Dear Santa,

I am so lucky, I have a lot of toys.  I don't really even need anything.  But, what I would really like to have is a Lego C3PO.  Please don't bring me any coloring books (I have yet to see him use more than one color or have any interest in staying in the lines), band-aids (We were able to get him to wear ones when he needed one by buying star wars band aids, but other than that he would rather not wear them), anything like slime or goo that would get my hands dirty (this kid doesn't even like finger paint, sand, or food that makes a mess, or bubble bath and bath toys (while baths have gotten a lot better, he has no desire to stay in water for long periods of time and won't even enter a tub with bubbles.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Santa questions

Here is a creepy photo Christmas photo of Link this year.
I was looking through some posts from last year and found some questions I asked Link about Santa.  So I thought I would do them again this year.  I think I liked last years better: Last Year's Answers

1. Have you ever met Santa?  No
2. Is Santa real or pretend? Pretend
3. Where does Santa live?  Don't know about that
4. Does Santa ride in a sleigh with reindeer? Yes
5. Do the reindeer fly? Yes
6. Does Santa bring you anything? Yes, but its a secret
7. When does Santa bring you gifts? Don't know about that question either
7. Does Santa ever come to your house when you are sleeping?  Yes
8. Does Santa leave presents under your tree? Yes
9. Who brings you other presents? I don't know
10. If you could ask Santa to bring you something what would you ask for? Lego C3po and Darth Vader with a Cape
11. What are elves?  Elves are elves

We have yet to visit Santa this year and I don't think Link minds.  They actually built him a little house in the park this year but we have been gone every time he has opened his door.

This Weekend

This weekend was pretty low key.  We decided not to go do anything out of town and just focus on hanging out with each other and some friends.  And Link decided to wear his hoodie everyday this weekend.

Paint Chip Trees with gem stickers.  Notice all Link's tree faces.

The Borax worked.  Crystal Snowflakes.  But it also ruined the glass jars.

The main thing I did this week was move a book shelf downstairs and paint our stairwell.  This stairwell is driving me crazy.  I can't get it right.  I painted it dark blue and I liked it but it seemed a little dark.  So I painted the lower portion this yellow-orange color and now I think it is too bright.  I do like the blue steps and I am wanting to do a yellow-orange chevron on the fronts of the steps.  But maybe this lower portion walls just needs to be white, or blue again.  I need some input before I throw myself down them.

The other thing we did this week was go to Brian and Frederique's Friend's Christmas Party.  We have gone almost every year and it always a lot of fun.  I love their retro apartment and I love Brian's cooking. We had things like venison on jelly and toast, smoked fish with radishes on crackers, etc.  We use to be much closer with this group but life has changed.  I think we are the only one with kid(s). One thing that remains the same is that this group always has the same sense of humor, which I love. It is a type of sarcasm that pierces but is just too funny.  Example: Brian was making coffee because there was a lot of beer sampling and some people had to drive home.  Chris Hadley, jokingly referring to himself says "Yes, some people have the minds of the future to mold tomorrow," and Jake, who actually just met Chris for the first time jumps right is "My. my, do we have someone who thinks highly of himself here." There are a lot of jabs that just make everyone crack up.

And the last thing I did this weekend was show Link some birthing videos.  I youtube-d videos where toddlers were watching births so I could make sure they were not too insane.  I wanted to know if Link wanted to be at this birth.  After watching them Link told me I could have the baby in the downstairs tub and he and dad would play legos upstairs.  Then they would come down.  After I told him Dad would be with me he decided a friend with Legos would be a better place to be.  However, watching the videos had a reverse effect on me.  I was reminded of that feeling to give birth and feel a little out of control.  And now I'm terrified and don't want to do it again.  The only time I really wanted to give birth again was the week after Link was born.  Having just done it I knew I could do it again.  Now it's been too long.  I don't remember a thing.

Link has been so sleepy this weekend.  We are all slightly battling some illness.  One night we laid down in bed and I told Link I would go get his pajamas.  I was gone about 30 seconds and when I came back he was asleep.  I thought he was faking it at first until I remembered he never fakes being asleep.  He slept through the night.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

More Advent Ornaments

So I have not been keeping good track of the ornaments from which day we made them but we have been continuing to do them.  Successes include easy things like painting wood push puppet blanks and putting fruit loops on a pipe cleaner and bending it into a candy cane shape.

We tried salt dough which was pretty much a disaster.  Everything broke.  A week later they are still not hard and I cut the water content in half because the first recipe gave us salt and flour soup instead of dough.

Yesterday we made snow globe scenes using some village scene pieces, plastic cups and paper plates and cotton balls.

Tonight Link and I made pipe cleaner ornaments that you keep in borax overnight and they get crystals on them.  I guess we shall see.

P.S.- Whenever Link wears a shirt with a hood, he wears it all day.  And I thought to myself about how when this NKOTB shirt was bought some 20 years ago, I don't think I ever thought I would be wearing it over a big prego belly.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013


I finally found my wallet.   I snuck into the school auditorium and checked where I had sat for a play three weeks ago.  Yup, there it was.  I had asked the school and they had foun nth in, but I was pretty sure it was there.  Link had been a squirmy butt that night and I left flustered.

I also cleaned a box out from he attic and found a tiny Lego light saber which I gave to Link.  He was so excited.  Probably about 5 times within an hour he said "thank you sooo much mama, I was looking for that alllll day."   Bryce is pretty sure he lst that particular Lego piece before link was even born.

Day 3 and 4

I didn't take pictures of day 3.  Link went with me to the office. We shredded pretty paper in the paper shredder and made a pattern paper chain.

Day 4 was reindeer candy canes.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Advent, Ornaments, Christmas Tree

Each advent I try to do something different with Link.  One year we did a new Christmas activity each day and kept a journal, last year we opened a new Christmas book each day and read it.  This year I wanted Link to do something with just me since he seems to be becoming more of a daddy's boy.  I've also always wanted to do crafts with Link but he doesn't like getting messy.  So what I came up with is making Christmas ornaments each day.

Day 1: Pipe cleaner trees with bell ornaments and a star
Day 2: Tape Resist Painted Candy Canes
A bag is left on the table each night with supplies and Link gets a note asking him to help make ornaments to give away and decorate the tree.  The first note was a little Santa heavy and I found myself changing the words as I read it to him.  I am not big into teaching that Santa is God-like and can see everything or sneaks into our house at night or things like that.  I prefer St. Nick as Santa and we treat him like St. Valentine and St. Patrick.  A legendary figure that people write about and dress up as.  Santa never brings Link presents, but St. Nick leaves items in his shoe or maybe stocking this year.  So far the ornaments have been a success.  I am also recycling books from last year and putting them in the bag to read when we are finished. 
Dad read the first book- Pop Up 12 Days of Christmas

Link's choice for a perfect tree.
Also on the 1st of December we bought our families first real Christmas tree.  There is a local tree seller just down the road.  All trees only $30 no matter what size.  We were not sure how to do it, but the people there were super helpful.  I loved looking until we had to decide on actual tree.  I had Bryce almost cut down three trees and backed out.  Finally I just threw my hands up and said "Bryce, I probably won't like whatever we get when we get home anyway, so just get whatever."  He decided on a soft white pine.  And guess what?  I LOVE it.  It is the perfect height and is just beautiful.  When we got it home Link and I decorated the tree.  He was very excited to put on the star.  Every year we pick a theme to go with Christmas.  We have done Hawaiaan, Rudolph, The Grinch, Forest, and Charlie Brown.  I usually also have a substantial amount of decorations bought from throughout the year as well.  Well, not this year.  So as I went through the ornaments and thought of the advent activity I decided on a "Homemade" Theme.  Every ornament on our tree this year is either handmade or has some special touch from us. 
Star on Top
The other thing that we are working on this month is being helpful.  Link often says no when we ask for help, so we started giving him tickets when he is helpful.  He puts the tickets in a jar and when he fills the jar he will get a new Lego character.  Now he hears the word"'helpful" and jumps right on top of things.  He helped me wrap presents and put them under the tree.  The last present was already taped in a box so he didn't know what was inside when he wrapped it  When he went to write who it was too I told him it was for him.  In a round-a-bout way of asking to open it he looked over at the tree and said "I'm sorry, but there is no more room under the tree."  Unfortunately I found some room.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

So I basically skipped all of November, whoops

Baby Progress:  Movements are large and visible.  I've got one more month to go.  I've lost about 15 lbs.  I was a little concerned at first but my docs are good with it.  I am still trying to do a no carb diet for my gestational diabetes as much as possible.  But I still think I am going to have a big baby.  I have been awful at taking my blood readings.  I've been slightly lazy and on the other hand super productive this month.  I am doing three exercises from spinning babies because my midwife thinks that baby is facing front and wants it to turn around.  Lots of tightenings, hoping this might be a more on time labor (although totally not prepared for it if it is).  I also eating 6 dates each day because of this study that my midwife suggested I read about.  I am actually eating more in the middle of the night than any other time.  She also suggested I eat something when I wake up and can't get back to sleep because it is probably low blood sugar.  So two birds.  I feel great.  Just like my last pregnancy I start with "Why the hell do I ever do this?" sickness, spend my second trimester in a slight depression, and third I do a bi-polar flip and love life.  So everything is grand at the moment.  I still have a hernia or varicose vein in the hoo-haa that hurts a lot.  I still get punches in the crotch.  I still can barely get off the ground, but hey, I'm happy.

Link Progress:  Link picked up his old activity book and I am amazed at how much he did.  Lots of the stuff we had earlier skipped because of difficulty now was easy as pie.  He is mildly excited to be a big brother, but not to helpful around the house (which is bothering me.)  He has grown much more attached to his dad than anyone.  We moved his little toys upstairs so they now spend hours playing legos up there while I work downstairs.  He is still a funny kid.  I love how often he starts sentences with "I'm sorry, but.." and then ends them with something like "I'm still hungry."  He also likes to tell people whole scenerios he wants to play out.  Whenever Bryce is in the bathroom (and I'm sure wanting some privacy) Link will say "How about when you come out you say la, ti, da, di, dah and don't notice me and then you see me and then you say, ahh, link is dead while I lie on the floor."  My friend Paula overheard one of these long winded directions of play the other day and she looked at Bryce and said "At my house, we just play store."  On a sad note, Super Dad is gone.  Link started calling us Dad and Mom.  I really don't want to be called Mom, so when he uses it on me I call him Linky, which he doesn't like.  Bryce however isn't working on bringing back the super.  I guess it ran it's course.

My Progress: Like I mentioned I'm in great spirits, well except for two things.  I've been missing my wallet for three weeks now and it is driving me BONKERS.  I have a credit card that wasn't in the wallet so I am ok with cash and I lost it the day of or after I renewed my license so I got my new one in the mail, and no one is using my cards, but GARRRR.  I have been calling all the places I can think of going in that two day period and it is gone.  And the other thing is that my cats have/had fleas.  They were barely noticeable to the vet.  We used frontline on them and washed everything but I am paranoially itching myself all night long when I sleep and I am worried about a newborn in the home.  One of those things where I might set the house on fire just to get rid of them.

Bryce's Progress: His favorite radio show is ending and he is sad about that, but not much has changed.  I love that man.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Halloween Again and Again

And this year I was super excited to have a big baby bump to decorate.

Our first dress-up party was Sadie and Jason's annual grown-up bash.  About two weeks before I thought of doing Gaia and I was able to pull it off pretty well.  Althought the colored hairspray was marked with warnings about flamability so I was a little nervous at the bon-fire.  Bryce wore last year's Green Lantern Costume. 

Link's first was the McGregor Library Haloween Party.  Last year we had left early because of crabiness, but this time Link did great.  He especially loved the "Keep your eye on the jack-o-lantern" game.  I was very proud of him.

On Halloween day we decided to go tot he Elkader Library Party which was very congested and had more advance age games.  The prizes were all ceramic things from Dollar General that were donated, no candy.  Link was a little overwhelmed and thus getting crabby so we left to go trick-or-treating after one game.  He did awesome trick or treating.  Link was Yoda, Bryce was Darth Vader, and I was the Death Star.  Bryce's costume we used a second hand kid's costume.  I cut the front off and safety pinned it to a black shirt of his.  He looked legit.  For mine I just painted a Death Star on a shirt.  It was a big hit. 

Saturday, October 26, 2013

End of October

Weekends have been busy here.  Two weeks ago we went to Spook Cave for Paula's birthday.  It was a nice night and I got to catch up with some friends I haven't seen in a while.  One disappointing event was when I went to check on Link at the bouncy house he was sitting at the entrance, slapping Jarret continuously as Jarret entered the bouncy house.  It was the first time I ever saw Link fighting, where he was actual intentional in hurting another.  We left shortly after.

On Sunday I played in the bell choir at Peace Church and then we went to the Norwegian dinner where I proved to myself that my diabetes meter doesn't always read low, I just have a pretty good diet keeping it down.  I blew myself off the chart with a 230 reading. 

Tuesday was a super busy day.  I met the other midwife, Katy, attended a work conference in Postville, went to pick up Link who was having a playdate at Summit's house after Kinderhaus, and then I went to my first parent teacher conference.  The teachers were very positive about Link, saying he often plays by himself (but not in a concerning way), but then wanders over to other kids and plays with them.  They said he was very inventive, including making up new songs and new ways of sewing.  I have noticed a new love in spelling and making words.  He loves to write "I Heart U Mama" or things like that.  He also loves to say from the backseat of the car while we drive things like "What does A-n-g-r-y Space B-i-r-d-s spell?"  Whatever he is looking at.  He is getting more interested in the baby and really hopes it is a girl.  If it is a boy, he has to be named Lincoln Oliver Durbin.

Wednesday afterschool we did special effects make up.  The kids had a blast getting all bloody and bruised.

Brian and I set up shop at the Turkey River Mall.  It is on the third floor so getting stuff up and down there is a little hard to do, but I am excited to have a shop again.


Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Links vocabulary

Funny words Link mixes up:
Dr. Shorts instead of dr. Schwartz
Snotrils instead of nostrils
Amazes instead of mazes

New words that are just fun to hear Link say.
Not always right but showing expansion in vocabulary:

Presume (sometimes mixed up with preserve)

Friday, October 18, 2013

Nothing Instep

This morning I looked at my calendar and saw something I hadn't seen in a very long time.  Nothing.  So I thought about what was on my to do list and returning items from whimsy market to vendors came to the top.  I have had these boxes in my car for over a month.  So I made a trip to Dubuque and made a day of it.

One thing I really needed to do was buy some shoes.  All summer I have been wearing Teva sandals and Mary Janes which now have holes in them so I needed something for colder winter and more close toed.  Nothing in my closet fits and after three returns to zappos, I figured I better go to a shoe store so I can try on lots at one time.  Well guess what?  Hardly anything fits.  

Did this pregnancy make my feet longer?  Nope, my toes still only reach to a size 8.  Did this pregnancy make my feet wider?  Nope, I still take a medium width. So what did this pregnancy do to my feet that makes them unshoeable?  My instep has gotten bigger.  If you don't know what an instep is, it is the slope of the top of your foot from toes to ankle.  And if you have a high instep you can't even get your toes down far enough in the shoe to get them on.  I can't even get on a size ten toms or a pair of clogs.  I didn't notice this summer because both my summer shoes have large openings at the instep.  Dear lord, I hope this isn't a permanent change.  What I found out today was that the options for women with high insteps are Mary Janes with long buckle bands, cowboy boots and men's shoes.  That's it.  I ended up buying a pair of boots, but I'm very discouraged.  So I also bought myself a new dress from the dress barn that wasn't on the sale rack.  Take that clothing makers.  Or, I guess, take that credit card.  Whoops.  

Monday, October 14, 2013

Strange dreams indeed

Cheri has been sharing with me some funny dreams she has had lately.  Now I am starting.  Last night I combined three different dreams.

1.  My ever re-occuring dream is this: It is my last semester and I don't have the right classes and I have anxiety because I need to finish and I can't figure out who I need to talk to or where the class is or something like that.  Last night I was on a large college campus and couldn't find the office I needed to turn my paperwork in to change my class.

2. Work:  On this campus I was in a huge 4-H building that was really cool.  There was a lot of fun going on inside and I was in the elevator trying to find this office, but it wasn't in this building.

3. Losing the baby: I have this dream whenever I am pregnant.  In the dream the baby is already born.  I just misplace him.  Link was the stand in for the baby in this dream.

So when I exit the 4-H building and am crossing the road with my paperwork and Link on my back in the Ergo sleeping, I suddenly realize how light Link is.  Then I freak out realizing he isn't in the Ergo at all.  So I am retracing all my steps looking around for him.  I find him in the 4H building in a giant square aquarium.  He is sitting cross legged on the floor with his eyes open, playing, as if water is not covering him at all.  This is weird for Link who doesn't like to get his head wet.  I knock on the glass and he smiles at me and waves.  I ask him if he is ok and he nods.  I ask him to come out and so he swims up to the top of the tank and he has to slide out this type of air vent.  He slides easily into my arms and happy.

Even though it started hectic, I liked the ending very much.

Friday, October 11, 2013

This Diabetes Thing and Hospital Birthing

Yesterday I was at the clinic from 10 am until 5 pm.  So long that my doctor actually made me a sandwich, since I had fasted prior to coming in.

On Monday I had failed the diabetes test so yesterday I took the 3 hour test.  I failed all of them as well.

I also had an ultrasound and found there definitely is only one little one in there and that baby is right on target with weight.  But I do have a little bit extra fluid which may be why I am measuring big.  They were not too concerned with it though.

Then I had diabetes counseling with a nurse to see how to test my blood and then I meet with a dietitian to see how to curb this issue with diet and exercise.  I did learn a few things.  I drink way too much milk. I didn't realize how much was a whole carb choice.  She went through a whole days meal plan as a goal and it seriously was hardly different than my normal meal plan, besides milk.

So I decided (and my midwife agrees) I should go one step further.  Eliminating most grains and I also am choosing very limited, if any, milk as well.

Well, it is working.  Today I tested my blood at the required times and even after waiting after eating meals I was in the fasting range.  So low that I called my midwife and asked if she thought the meter might be defective.  She thought it might and had me test my blood at the same time on two different meters, but I got the same results.  I hope this continues.  If by just eliminating milk I could be done with diabetes, I would be so happy.

I have had a few crying spells over all this diabetes testing.  For one thing my midwife said if I wasn't in range 75% of the time (probably in the last month or so) then I would not be able to deliver at home.

In all honesty if I gave birth at a hospital and it was like last time where my midwife was able to have a lot of say and was there the whole time, I would be totally fine.  Especially if they didn't hook me up to anything and allowed me to move around and go home early and all that stuff that made my hospital birth with Link such a good experience.  But that is not a guarantee.  Not like the guarantee of doing a home birth with my chosen birth team and having all those wishes not only voiced, but cherished.

The other thing I would hate about not having a home birth is dealing with nay-sayers.  I know that for some people me going to the hospital during my first home birth and still being a big home birth fan is inspiring to them, but to others it just seems ridiculous.  And to have to face those people a second time would be hard for me.  They make you feel so small for not believing what the modern majority is thinking.

And the third thing I struggle with is trusting my body.  I've only gotten pregnant using medication, except for once and my body didn't carry that baby full term.  So, I don't trust I can get pregnant on my own.  I didn't start labor on my own.  My body was totally fine with just carrying Link on and on until I took required herbs to induce.  So, I don't trust my body to start labor.  I never felt the urge to push and felt no difference in pushing Link out at the end of labor than I had in the beginning.  So, I don't trust my body to know what to do in labor.  And now I add to my list of body disappointments, but inability to control blood sugars.

So we shall see.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Pregnany Changes

This pregnancy has been totally different on my body.  I feel like there is a lot more movement that with Link, but I can't exactly remember.  I am measuring way over so I have to go in for a gestational diabetes test.  Brenda said it could be this or a fibroid feeding off hormones or multiples.  I asked if missing another baby during an ultrasound was possible and she said it was.  This slightly scares me because I was reading through my hospital record and Dr. Schwartz did put down he got two heart beat readings the first time, but didn't say anything the second time.  Is it sad to say that I am praying for diabetes?  or better yet a fibroid? 

I am also having to go to the chiropractor much more frequently.  I am getting a small amount of actual cash for health insurance with my job at the Extension so I am applying them this way.  My lower back is always in pain, especially my left hip which never seems to stay put.  And I have a lot of pain along my public bone.  It feels almost bruised.  I told my midwife and she told me some moms have had the cartilage tear away from the bone and had to use a walker for several weeks after giving birth.  This scares me.  I had my chiropractor adjust the bone (embarrassing) but there didn't seem to be much change.  I am not sure what it is.

I am very much in nesting mode, but also very busy with work and family schedules.  So when I have any down time I start really big projects.  I decided to paint our stairwell.  I cleaned the entire house.  I put up shutters outside the house.  I put the sink in Link's play kitchen.  I finished Amber's wedding photo album.  I cook from 100 days a Real Food.

Our food change is still doing really well.  I am figuring out the co-op shopping nicely and am comparing prices with the blogs list to see where I can make adjustments.  My latest find that I am very excited about is milk.  I love milk so the likelihood of me ever giving it up are slim.  But organic milk is crazy expensive.  Around $6.50 a gallon.  But yesterday I noticed the local dairy that was recently started in Waukon, WW Homestead.  Their milk is non-homogenized so you have to really shake it before you drink it, but then it tastes exactly the same.  It doesn't have the organic label, but because of Farm to School I know they practice organic methods (maybe even better than some of the farmers with the organic label that I don't personally know) and their milk is around $2.50. 

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Magical Harvest Dinner

Bryce and I once again participated in the Harvest Dinner in Crawford County.  Last year the Farm to Table meal was served in a community room and while delightfully tasty it lacked ambiance.  This year it was held at Strawberry Lane, just North of Eastman (where we picked blueberries and raspberries earlier this year).  It was magical.  They totally marked off the ambiance box.  It reminded Bryce and I so much of our wedding.  It's amazing how many people hear that we got married in a barn and don't realize how beautiful that setting really is. 
The food was sinfully good.  Everyone was raving about the local squash and tilapia.  And there was much more food than that.  My friend Kathleen introduced us to her niece and her fiance who are going to UNI, but are both from Tennessee.  We were able to have a really good conversation with them throughout the night.  Kathleen's daughter, Ella and Greta, did a great job keeping Link entertained.  Link even snuck in a kiss for Greta when we left.  She's a 5th grader and wasn't sure what to think of that.
They even provided music from an older couple who I was a little worried about before they started, but they were very good and sang great, somewhat folksy songs that Bryce and I love.  Some people danced but no one felt obliged and everyone looked like they were having fun.
Gorgeous night.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Lots of good on the screen today

I've have seen some very interesting things on the screen lately.
Here are my favorites:

The Chipotle Scarecrow Commercial ditches the idea to sell themselves and takes on industrial food.

A political ad where the Liberal Politician gracefully includes his tea party dad.

A silent short which makes you more aware of the impact your actions have, even on creatures millions of miles away from you.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

S.F. Day Four

I had no idea what to do today, but I knew I was craving some good breakfast so Link and I went to the Eagle Nest down at the Pier.  We ate here last year and I remember it being extraordinary and it was again.  We had French toast and egg Benedict with crab cakes.  Yum.  Tuesday is a great day at the Pier, very empty.  We had the carousel all to ourselves and the piano steps. 

To get down to the Pier we waited a very long time for the F, but to our luck there was a chatty local on the train who recommended a place we had never heard of, Musee Mecanique.  The Musee was an arcade of vintage machines.  Most took only a quarter or two.  Link had a blast playing whack a mole, flying the whirly bird, doing an earlier version of rockm sockm robots with metal boxers and all sorts of interesting games.  

When we went back to the hotel we walked around the hotel area to check it out.  We missed dining at Mixt Greens (which I had been excited about) so went across the street for a dessert date of brownie and ice cream.  We also visited the Redwood Forrest Park when Link had fun with the statues and water features.

Our flight the next day was at noon.  An odd time to do anything before hand, but we didn't have to wake early.  We had an easy wait at the SFO and the flight wasn't very booked so I got to sleep three seats long.  Link slept too, unfortunateley during the entire showing of Monster's University.  I watched it though.

Chicago airport was once again Chicago.  Our 7:45pm flight got bumped to 9:45 to 10:50 to 11:45. 
Then gate changes.  Damn, I have to work tomorrow and was planning on dropping of vendors stuff from Whimsy to those who live in Dubuque. 

S.F. Day Three

I was wrong.  Link slept a full 14 hours.  Then Link and I started our day by going to the Ferry Building to get on a ferry to Sausalito.  We were a little early and to my surprise I was very happy to be.  The ferry building is very cute and filled with stores to occupy our time.  At the bookstore we found very reasonably priced toys and books.  When we returned from our trip Link got a green toy ferry boat and a r2d2 book.

American Cup Race going beyond the Ferry
Sausalito was great.  It was filled wit art galleries.  I loved the Hudson and Bubble gallery.  Another gallery featured hats owned by dr. Seuss including the famous red and white stripe hat.  There were also great clothing shops, of course nothing in plus sizes, but very cute clothes.  Claire's Attic reminded me of Agnes so much.  We had skipped seeing Sausalito when she was with us last year, I'm sorry she wasn't with us this year.  Sausalito has a lot of Italian influence so link and I shared his first real Italian pizza.  He also tried sparkling water, except he really didn't like it.  I think I had the same face on my first sip 12 years ago.  And Link had his first gelato.
Piano Steps
When we returned to the city, we went to Ghiradelli square.  I was thinking about joining the giant line for the trolley until Link informed me that the street car we had just gotten off was a trolley, which it kind of was.  So I'm pretty sure the experience would have been lost on him.  So we went up to Ghiradelli to play with the water fountain, try chocolate samples and grab dinner.  I had been looking forward to going to McCormick & Kluetos since we had gone with Lori way back in 2004 and had the most amazing fish.  However, I was extremely disappointed.  We had a great waiter but overlooked and under seasoned food.  So sad.

On the way back home Link fell on the street car steps a little and I twisted his arm to keep him up so he was in tears.  I pulled out the leftover yucky food (which I only took home because I felt bad for how much I paid for it) and we sat down with the homeless and fed it to the pigeons.  Link was in hysterical fits of laughter with the dance he was making the pigeons do.

We went back to the hotel and Link took a bath with his new Ferry Boat toy.  We watched Kung fu Panda and I fell asleep before Link.

Monday, September 9, 2013

S.F. Day Two

We started breakfast at the hotel restaurant with other staff including one with two young boys, which was great for Link.  But yah, $4 for a single serve cereal.  Thank god this place is mostly comped.  I did the buffet and it was great, especially the blackberries.

Bryce decided to go to the Hackathon after all so Link and I took a street car to the Wharf to go to the Exploritorium.  It recently moved and is really nice.  I was surprised to find Link free and me only $25.  There was so much hands on to do we couldn't have done everything if we went everyday for a week.

In addition we got to see some of the American Cup race from the museum.  

When we finished we went to Pier 39.  We bought some fruit at the farmers market, had a crepe, watched the sea lions and went on the carousel.  But I could tell while asking link to smile for a carousel picture, he was really tired.  So we went back to the hotel.  I told him if he took a nap dad would be back and we could go on a trolley ride.  He fell asleep right away, but went into night sleep mode and never woke up.  I ordered some sushi for dinner and watched hgtv and food network the rest of the night.  Most likely he will be watching cartoons at 5 am tomorrow while we sleep.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

San Francisco Day One

We woke up at 3:30 am to drive to Dubuque and catch a flight.  Got there just in time.  Link woke up at the airport with lots of enthusiasm, which was great given we all had slept so little.  In Chicago I was so tired I slept right on the floor without care.  Link was given colors and a coloring book and got to press buttons in the cock pit.  The flight to California also went well, link slept a good three hours of it.

We took a taxi to le meridian hotel, which is very nice.  I love and hate that the corner of the room is two sliding glass windows with a cement like fence, essentially making your room a balcony.  Love the view of the bay bridge, hate the fact it doesn't lock and link brought his superman cape, which makes my mind start worrying.

We ate lunch across the street at the elephant in the castle, which appears to be British Canadian.  I had patine for the first time, which is French fries with cheese and gravy.

After napping, while link watched a marathon of sponge bob, we took the Bart to Oakland where Bryce's friend from grad school, Erch, picked us up at around 5:30.  From then until 8:30 we hung out with him and his wife MB and their two daughters, Sadie who is 5 and Kit who is 1.  Link took off with Sadie and had a blast.  At 8:30 Lou, the babysitter (or whisperer is more like it), came to watch the kiddos while we went to chez panisse.  The best reservation I could get was 9:30, which Bryce reminded me was a little like eating at 11:30 our time.  Having been up so early it was a long day.

The food at chez panisse was amazing.  I first heard about this restaurant in the film food fight and was instantly drawn to it.  I love the hippie generation and local food and this is the essential local food cafe started in the 1960s.  MB and Erch are vegan so it was a little more limited for them, but the chef made their own entrees and they seemed to love it as well.

After our meal Erch drove us home over the new bay bridge, which just opened this week so he was excited to drive over.  It was hard o say goodbye to them.  We would probably be such good friends if we lived closer.  In reality MB and I haven't spent more than 12 hour together in our life, but we click.  

Here are some of the similarities between us:
1. All of graduated in art (I'm the only one who never went to cranbrook though)
2. Erch and Bryce are both from Columbus
3. MB is from Kentucky, but lived in Manchester, ia during elementary years
4. Our kids are spaced the same, just thier's are 1 year older
5. Our children are home births, toddler nursed, cloth diapered
6. Husbands work from home, wives work outside
7. Oldest children just started school, both of us drive an hour for the type of education
8. We appear to be the same politically, spiritually, pretty much everything