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Monday, January 31, 2011

Ahh, the Early 80's!

Pageboy haircuts - parted down the middle.

Cheesy outdoor background (just 2 Montana girls magically transported to a Southern Plantation)

Wagon wheel - because doesn't EVERYONE go around leaning on wagon wheels?

Matching sweaters. (Okay, I kind of like that part.)

But check out my sister's gorgeous butterfly collar! Isn't it the picture of late 70's early 80's perfection??

I have a whole collection of pictures of the two of us in matching clothes. That could become fun regular posting material...

Sunday, January 30, 2011

A Letter to My Sister on Her Birthday

Dear Beautiful Girl,

Happy Birthday to the smartest, sweetest big sister I could have ever asked for. You would be 38 today if you were still with us.

Why doesn't this get any easier?

I still feel your presence often. I know you hear me when I talk to you. So many times, there are things that I know you would appreciate, and I just have to share them with you. I still have times when I will find some funny thing on the internet and my first instinct is to email it to you. I can't pick up the phone and call you, but I can say it to the sky and know it will get to you.

I remember when I made the decision to marry Surfer Pirate. He was definitely more your type than mine, and I can still hear your laughter about that, even though you were only there in spirit then. But your laugh was still as clear as day. You thought that was hysterical that I was marrying a blond. And after watching his new house flipping TV show, I can see you were right - I really DID marry Vanilla Ice!

I wonder what you do up there in Heaven while you wait for us. What fills your time there? Are you playing with my little angel baby? Are you watching with pride while your niece reads book after book - reminding me of you and how many times you had your nose in a book. Did you hug your little nephew and give him advice before he was born? There are so many times that I see his little eyes moving around - looking like he's watching someone that I'm not aware of. I whisper to him "Are you looking at your auntie?"

Four weeks from today, I will be 35 - the last birthday you saw in this life. It's such a strange feeling to know that I'll soon officially be outliving you. That's really hard. We were supposed to be still sharing stories in our 80's. Joking about family reunions and pickles and Perrier, talking about James Madison and how much your student loved him, laughing about how you had to name the one kitten "Indianapolis" just because I thought Gary was a good name for the other kitten, and telling each other "Give me a spoon right now please! NICELY!" This wasn't how our lives were supposed to go. We were supposed to have babies together and visit each other regularly. We were supposed to be able to call each other when things got tough or when we had good news to share.

But I know you were needed in the next life. You had work to do there. But I still have the right to feel more than a little robbed.

This is hardest on Mom. I know you know that. Parents aren't supposed to outlive their children. We cried together over you yesterday. She's having a pretty stressful time right now, and it sure would be nice if we could all be there again - sitting on her bed talking all night long. It seemed like nothing could hurt us if we were all together as a team.

You would be so proud of your niece and nephew. Pirate Munchkin is so smart! I know Heavenly Father knew what he was doing putting that child into our family. I have a hard time believing sometimes that she's not from our own bloodline - she's so much like you. I have no doubt that she'll watch over her little brother as well as you always watched over me. And Pirate Baby is such a strong little guy. Just over 5 weeks old, he's already starting to master having control over his little neck. In looking for a picture for this posting, I found pictures of both of us as babies and realized Hey! He DOES look like us when we were babies! He's not just a carbon copy of his daddy after all!

Anyway, as usual, my thoughts are sort of rambling. If anyone knows how much I do that, it's you. But I just wanted to tell you I love you and I miss you. Life is pretty hard without you here. Tonight, we'll have birthday cake in your honor. Hope you're okay with Funfetti cake and Rainbow Chip frosting. I love me some Rainbow Chip. To use your words "It's the Yum."

But I'd rather be standing in line at Softies with you instead.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

9 Glorious Months

Today is Pirate Baby's due date.

Hard to believe that he's more than a month old now.

I just thought it would be good to put down some thoughts today about how I felt about my pregnancy.

I looked forward to being pregnant for 11 years. When I discovered I was pregnant back in May, I was thrilled, of course. Having lost my first pregnancy, the thought of losing another one was terrifying. But I felt cautiously optimistic this time. As the months passed after losing the first one, I'd had the strongest feeling that I would be pregnant in the spring. And sure enough, I was right!

The timing was awkward, at best. We had decided to move to North Dakota, without ever having visited the area. While that seemed crazy enough, we would now be making the move with a baby on the way. The baby would be coming during the peak of the arctic temperatures. It was certainly nerve-racking. Surfer Pirate was going to be moving a month before we were. We had never been apart for more than a day, and now I was going to have to deal with a month of first trimester sickness and exhaustion without him.

Before he left, we were able to get an ultrasound. It was very reassuring to both of us to know there was a tiny little heart beating inside of me. We hadn't gotten that far with the first pregnancy, so knowing things were going well made the time apart a little bit easier.

The nausea was no fun, of course. Neither was the exhaustion. Most frustrating of all were the hormonal surges that made me semi-psychotic during the entire pregnancy. But through it all, there was the amazing joy of knowing there was a child growing and progressing inside of me.

After all the years of trying, I had started to feel like pregnancy was a conspiracy - that it didn't really happen. No one really got pregnant. Babies came from somewhere else. Big pregnant bellies were fake, and everyone was in on it except me. So as I progressed through my pregnancy, everything felt like a dream. I have to admit even now that I have a hard time processing where this gorgeous little boy came from.

And then I started feeling the little kicks. They were so amazing! It really is an incredible experience to have movement inside your body that isn't coming from you. Someone else is having hiccups - you feel them, but you're not having them. I could go from feeling perfectly fine to feeling incredibly nauseous just because he was pushing on my stomach. I could tell where the little hands and feet were as he would stretch diagonally across my uterus. When Daddy came home and started telling me about his day, Pirate Baby would start kicking like crazy!

I felt so incredibly lucky to finally have been blessed with a child that was half me, and half my wonderful husband. Was I right in feeling like this was a boy? What would he look like? Would he be blond and blue-eyed like his Daddy? Would he have the platinum blond hair most of the boys on my dad's side of the family were born with, or would it be red like mine was when I was tiny? Or would he take on the Native American genes that don't show in his father - dark eyes and hair? I hoped for that the most. Pirate Munchkin, being adopted, has dark hair and eyes. I don't want her to look out of place in family pictures, so it would be nice if our baby had similar features to his sister. (It looks like he may have a nice mix of both. His hair is dark blond - although I suspect it may change eventually. His eyes mostly look like they will go brown, but it's too soon to know for sure.) Would I love him the same way I love his big sister? (While it feels different to how I love her now, I think I do love him pretty much the same as I did when she first came into my life.) Would she love him, or would we have a lot of sibling rivalry? (She adores him!) Would he share our love of music? Would he have his father's mind for math? Will he be a daring little monkey, always breaking bones like his father? Or would he be more like me - loving reading and history, preferring to use his imagination to play rather than the more physical things?

But most of all, I am overwhelmed by this amazing gift. Right now, he's sleeping on his tummy stretched out across my legs. His gorgeous little mouth (his father's) is slightly parted and his little cleft chin (also his father's) is twitching while he dreams. I can't believe I get to be his mother. I get the privilege of watching him learn and grow. The eight months of pregnancy were definitely a roller-coaster, and I got quite the prize at the end of it!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Don't Wanna

Surfer Pirate is sick.

Which means he's home with me all day.

I get nothing done when he's home during the day.

I need to clean my kitchen. I need to straighten the living room and dining room. I have more laundry to finish. I need to go to the butcher shop because we don't have any meat in the house. I need to pick up diapers because I don't think my Amazon order will be here before we're out. Pirate Munchkin has the snacks this week for school and I need to get tomorrow's snack done. Plus, I had planned on making cookies today.

So far today, I have done.... um.... nothing.

Well, I've fed my son and that's important.

And I wrote a little in his baby book.

But yeah. That's pretty much it. And aside from the fact that I REALLY want cookies, I don't feel like doing anything at all today.

But Surfer Pirate is taking a nap. It would be a good time to pretend that he's not here and get something accomplished.

Or not.

We'll see.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

New Toy

The Story of the (previously mentioned) Big Ass TV:

Last week, Surfer Pirate came home from the store in a super-excited frenzy. Our favorite cashier had introduced him to her mom, and the conversation came up about a big ol' TV she wanted to sell.


We have been looking for a new TV for the living room. Surfer Pirate's Man Cave has been seriously lacking without a place to watch sports and movies. A new TV in the house means he can watch marathons of Pawn Stars without me having to watch the annoyingness that is the condescending way Rick treats his customers.

And I can watch my wedding shows without him changing the channel when I leave the room for a second.

So he went to look at the TV, and then brought this gigantic beast home.

In seeing that it wasn't a 52" like she'd originally said (TV screens are measured diagonally, not by width, in case you didn't know), I was a little concerned with how it was going to even fit in our small rooms. That's right people! This is a frickin' 60" television!

And then he turned it on. And it was fuzzy. REALLY fuzzy. If you wear contacts and have ever accidentally slept in them and have experienced waking up to eyes full of goop, you'll understand what this thing looked like.

Needless to say, I was NOT happy about the purchase. I told Surfer Pirate I would give it a couple days to see if I could get used to it - knowing full well I wouldn't. So I did. And I still hated it. He'd promised me if I hated it he would move it downstairs.

For the record, that would be really funny. First of all, I have serious doubts about it fitting down the stairs. And if he could manage to get it down there, it would completely dwarf the room. The Man Cave is a small room, and to top it off, it's also very strangely shaped. Watching that TV down there would make you feel like it was getting ready to roll across the floor to eat you!

So yesterday, Surfer Pirate had some errands to run before he came home for lunch. While he was out, he ran into Favorite Cashier's dad. He asked how we were liking the TV, and when he heard it was a little fuzzy, he wasn't surprised. This is a projection TV, and apparently they just need to have their little projectors cleaned every once in a while. He explained what to do, and last night Surfer Pirate brought home the tool we would need to take the back off. (Of course, they can't use simple screws so I could have done it myself while he was at work. But being married to a mechanic means the man has tools. Lots of tools. Note to self: get a set of nut-drivers for the house.) We took the back off, cleaned the projectors and the mirror inside, and voila! Almost perfectly clear picture! (We can't expect perfection. This thing is at least a decade old, but it was a HUGE improvement from what it was when we brought it home.)

So today I'm moving furniture because as you can see from the picture, it covers up my beautiful fireplace, and we can't have that. (You can also see the smaller TV and its stand on the floor in the background of the picture.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Pirate Baby's Birth Story

I figured Blogger would publish postings based on when they are finished, but apparently, they are posted based on when they are started.

So scroll down to December 31st to read Part 1 of Pirate Baby's interesting birth story.

Monday, January 17, 2011

I Have Fought the Battle, & I Am Victorious!!

I am happy to report that the powers that be that make blog templates have finally caught up with all the pirate lovers in this world, and I had a PLETHORA of backgrounds to choose from!


It took me a while to remember how to change a background, but I got it!!

I love, love, love, love this!!

And with so many others to choose from, I may change backgrounds more often!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Cheap Entertainment

I'm feeling too lazy to look for an appropriate picture of my dogs tonight. So, I went looking on the internet for pirate dog pictures, and got completely distracted by this adorable Lobster Dog.



Anyway. The pirate puppies did something really funny the other day, and I had to share.

Both dogs were sleeping on the couch (like they always do) when the following source of entertainment occurred:

1. Pirate Puppy was having a puppy dream and was growling.

2. Said growling woke Pirate Wench Puppy.

3. She assumed the growling meant there was danger afoot!

4. So she barked.

5. Which woke Pirate Puppy.

6. Both dogs immediately go into High Alert and in Ultra Protective Mode.

7. They go charging together to the back door to save the family from unknown threat.

8. Where they discover there is nothing out there and have to sheepishly return to the couch.

All because Pirate Puppy had a dream.

Friday, January 14, 2011


I spend so much time feeling like I'm not doing enough. My house has looked like a tornado hit it for so long that I start to feel like it always looks like that.

And then I recognize that I have a brand new baby in the house and it's no surprise that my house looks like crap. It's a good excuse, but it still doesn't make me feel very good.

But just now, I was sitting here in the silence, reading websites, procrastinating going upstairs to sort all the laundry that needs to be done, when I realized something.

My dining room is clean. And come to think of it, the living room looks pretty darn clean, too. And after yesterday's productivity, the kitchen is also clean. There are things on my stairs that I need to put away, but that won't take long. There's a TV and TV stand in my foyer, but I can't do anything about them right now (don't even get me STARTED on the big ass TV in the living room - that's a sore spot at the moment). The mud room is a little messy, but it's a mud room, what do you expect? The beds need to be made, but that won't take long. The upstairs bathroom is mostly clean. So really, the only issues in the house today are Laundry Mountain and getting the guest room ready for company (my mommy will be here in 13 days!!!!).

Not bad for a woman with a 3 week old baby!

And to top it off, the TV is off (again, big ass TV issue). The dogs are asleep on the couch. Pirate Baby is asleep on my lap. Pirate Munchkin is at school, and Surfer Pirate is at work. The house is SILENT! I'd say it's pretty darn peaceful around here!

I don't think I've felt this content in a while. I almost don't know what to do with myself.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

He's All Boy!!

You can see the mischievousness in that smile, can't you?

I'm nursing this cute little guy, and a couple days ago, I was holding him after a feeding. My shirt was open a little more than normal (I was home, who cares), and there was quite a bit of cleavage showing.

Suddenly, I felt a little hand snaking it's way across my skin, settling into my cleavage.

I looked down at him, just in time to catch him watching me out of one eye. He quickly closed it. I said "Yeah, I just caught you copping a feel." He smiled and rolled his eyes.

Just over two weeks old, and he's already a sneaky little bugger!

Even More Changes

A new year is a good time to make changes.

I read a lot of different blogs that manage to stay fairly anonymous while still posting actual pictures of their families. I've been considering doing it for a while, but it wasn't until Pirate Baby was about to be born that I started seriously considering it.

And now that he's here, I owe it to the world to show off his adorableness!

Real Pirate Life is soon to come!

Monday, January 3, 2011

2010: The Year of Change

I'm working on Pirate Baby's birth story for this blog. I'm being very detailed with it, and I'm not sure how far I want to go with it. I apologize in advance for the size of it because I'm mostly writing it for me, and I don't want to forget any details.

Meanwhile, I saw a questionaire on a friend's blog and thought it would be a good thing to do for the most life-changing year I've ever had.

1. What did you do in 2010 that you’d never done before?
Gave birth and moved to North Dakota

2. Did you keep your new years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I don't do resolutions. I try to make a regular attempt to improve my life, but I don't do it on a year-to-year scheduled basis.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Lots! This was definitely the year of babies. Just from one side of the family, there were 6 of us cousins who had babies - mine was the only boy. Plus many new friends. I also have several more friends and family members who have babies due in the next couple months.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
No one close to me (at least that I can think of - I'm still dealing with Baby Brain), but a wonderful man who I've always respected and loved died just after Christmas.

5. What countries did you visit?
None. Although Small Town North Dakota does feel like a different world sometimes! LOL

6. What would you like to have in 2011 that you lacked in 2010?
No financial stress.

7. What date from 2010 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
December 22nd. The day my beautiful little boy was born.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Again, the birth of my baby.

9. What was your biggest failure?
Getting my household packed up for the move. I had plenty of time, but I was dealing with first trimester morning sickness and exhaustion. But I still feel bad that I needed more help. I should have done more by myself.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Normal pregnancy-related illnesses. I never really got a cold or flu or anything like that when I was pregnant, but I got a NASTY cold from being in the hospital after he was born.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
Our gorgeous house

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
My little family. Surfer Pirate for all his hard work and his support of me, and Pirate Munchkin for putting up with a hormonal mess of a mom who wasn't very patient most of the time.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
My dear friend's former employers. The things they did to her were disgraceful! Technically, their behavior was all from 2009 and earlier, but she is still dealing with the repercussions.

14. Where did most of your money go?
Paying bills, trying to get caught up. This big move and Surfer Pirate's employment changes are going to fix those problems.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Being pregnant and anticipating the birth of my little boy.

16. What song(s) will always remind you of 2010?
Can't Take My Eyes Off of You by Frankie Valli. Years ago, I changed the lyrics a little to make it into a lullaby. I finally got to use it this year!

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:

i. Happier or sadder?
Definitely happier. All the financial stress that we've been under is going to be easing up soon, I've finally got the baby I've waited 12 years for, life in our little town is much more peaceful. I could go on and on.

iii. Thinner or fatter?
Pretty much the same. I didn't put much weight on with the pregnancy, so I'm almost back to pre-pregnancy weight now.

v. Richer or poorer?
Basically the same, but we'll be richer pretty soon.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Sorting through all the junk we've got stored in boxes! We got rid of a ton of stuff in the process of the move, but there are still WAY too many boxes in my basement!

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Being a big hormonal mess. I had very little patience with my daughter, and that makes me really sad.

20. How did you spend Christmas?
(Edited because the original question was to be answered before Christmas.) We spent Christmas in the hospital. We were all together, but it wasn't a lot of fun. Thankfully, Santa found us and made sure the kids had plenty of gifts this year.

21. How many one-night stands?
Never in my life.

22. What was your favorite TV program
Probably Big Bang Theory. I don't really have favorite shows that I watch all the time, but that one never fails to make me laugh.

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
While there are certainly people I don't care for, I don't really hate anyone.

24. What was the best book you read?
The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein. Although I didn't actually finish it until today. It was such a great story! I highly recommend it.

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Not so much a discovery, but my greatest musical experience this year was the concert we went to in October. Surfer Pirate and I are STILL talking about it!

26. What did you want and get?
My baby to arrive safely and in good health.

27. What was your favorite film of this year?
I've seen lots of great movies this year, but I think my favorite was How to Train Your Dragon. So much fun!

28. What did you do on your birthday?
I seriously do not remember. That was a loooooong time ago.

29. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2010?
Will this shirt fit over my big belly?

30. What kept you sane?
I have two main things that keep me sane - peace and quiet and time with Surfer Pirate. As long as I get those two things on a regular basis, I'm good.

31. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Meh. Don't really care.

32. What political issue stirred you the most?
Politics - Blech

33. Who did you miss?
My sister. I miss her all the time.

34. Who was the best new person you met?
My fun new friend who says I'm a bad influence on her. She reads my blog and knows who she is.

35. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2010: Moving (especially when pregnant) is horrible. I never, ever want to do it again!