Friday, November 30, 2012


Here's me and the man of my dreams.

Well, I usually have really wacky dreams but if I had normal, movie-like ones, he'd be my leading man for sure.

This was our quick trip to Myrtle and it was cold. But the ocean is still beautiful. And us posing without the kid doesn't happen often so I thought I'd share.


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

19 Months.

I had a cute bath photo but we don't want to post those on here... but I wanted one from him today... so I cropped it. Here's our sweet boy during tonight's bath. Such a great gift, these nineteen months with him.

And today, just for Uncle Jeff, he has been saying "uh oh" pretty much non-stop. New favorite for him. It's quite cute.


Monday, November 26, 2012


Having my parents around has been wonderful. They are super talented and wise and helpful. Mostly I love how they are lovin' on Eli, forming a bond with him, teaching him stuff, playing around, and let's be honest: watching him so I can get stuff done! There's a whole new meaning to productive when I have live-in childcare!

It will be a sad, sad day come Wednesday when Eli looks up and doesn't have doting Grammy or goofy Gramps around.

I've been too busy to be on the computer (except some online shopping... I bought toilet paper online today for a great deal... yes, I did). No time for facebook or pinterest or blogs, not when I can have real face time with family. Plus my mom actually did some of my pinterest projects, I'll show you some later. 

We did take (and order) their Christmas cards today. And Eli kept photo-bombing them. Hilarious. I think he may have a complex... like an "all photo shoots must be about me" complex. I have created a monster. Sigh. To keep you hanging, here's a shot from our morning:

Pretty A-dorable.


Friday, November 23, 2012

Bambino Land.

I like to shop. Usually. I used to like to browse through stores, get a (crazy) good deal, find the perfect gift, or just enjoy the walking. But post-Eli, I don't get to do that much. I can online shop much easier though! 

Well, perhaps you like online shopping. And if you have a kid or are going to have one or if you need to buy a gift for a baby... I have a must-have. Really, on top of my so-stinkin-glad-we-have-these list.

Eli LOVES his muslin blankets. They are awesome for swaddling because they are made of breathable fabric. They are large, light, soft. They are also great for absorbing spit up, wiping noses, soothing... really they are Eli's go-to item even now, much past the swaddling stage. I highly suggest them.

Bambino Land is a small company based out of Winona, MN and they have the bestest, softest muslin blankets. If they made big people blankets, I would want one. I would suggest getting their blankets over the others out there... we have the others and these are better.

If you use this unique discount code (Q4D7), you can get 30% off and I get a $5 credit for referring you. I think this code expires on the 29th but it may be longer?! Also, for Black Friday, they have free shipping. UPDATE: THEY HAVE FREE SHIPPING FOR CYBER MONDAY TOO!

They are expensive. I remember people telling me they were a must-have and I gawked at the price. But now I know, totally worth it. Bambino Land sells other organic cotton items (I've never tried but I'm sure they are sweet too). They will also have deals periodically on their facebook page so like them to be in the know on that... though free shipping is rare.


Thursday, November 22, 2012


Happy Thanksgiving. I'm thankful for you, for reading my ramblings and caring about our lives.


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Day of Grandparents.

Sunday was a very special day for Mr. Eli.

He woke up in a hotel room in Myrtle Beach with his Grandma and Grandpa Kasowski.

And then he went to sleep for the night in his crib after a brief hello to his Grammy and Gramps Tysse.

It was THE DAY OF GRANDPARENTS! And it was legendary.

We got to spend a little over 24 hours with Greg's parents during a quick trip to MB (it was cold and completely not beachy, more pics to follow). And my parents are here for another week for Thanksgiving fun (more pics to be had).

Oh and the best news of the day is my Nikon was delivered, fixed and happy to see me. At least I think it is. I started taking photos within minutes of opening that box. 


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Welle Ladies Plus One.

One fun thing about being in MN visiting my sister and family was that Eli and I happened to be in the cities for the annual Welle Girls Weekend. A fun time for the females of Greg's mom's side of the family. I'm so very glad I was able to be there this year... and bring one little man into the mix. It was too short of time, but much fun was had with this crew:

Aunt Barb, Grandma, tired Eli, Great Grandma!, Me, Cousin Sarah, Cousin Emily, Amy
Thanks to Barb's exchange student, Elva, for the great photo. We had a blast and I'm so happy to be a part of this family!


Monday, November 19, 2012

Three Reds.

Three lovely cousins...

This was the best I got for photos in their cute outfits. Geesh. They are still adorable, of course, but I am quite out of sorts without my own camera.


Thursday, November 15, 2012


I sent my beloved Nikon in for service before heading to MN. Something has been finicky about it and I wanted it checked out before my warranty expired. Not having my camera with me is tough and I didn't take nearly the amount of photos I wanted while using my sister's camera. That also might have something to do with how we stayed inside most of the time. I like natural lighting outside photos, they are always the best. Sometimes you just have to let that go and capture the moment.

Here are a few of my favorite shots and favorite moments from our trip. I have no photos of our karaoke dance session. Darn.

First, my sister fed Eli some frozen custard from Culvers (I heart Culvers). Custard is ice cream but better. I didn't really know she was going to feed it to him... but she has the right to spoil I guess. He was a big fan. Big.

More!? She even got him to SAY more and thank you... which he has never done and hasn't done since.
He had a lot of energy after his sugar-fest.
Eli was dressed up in a bathrobe. Then Ava bossed him around some.
There was a lot of this too. Most of the time Eli was up for whatever shenanigans the girls could throw at him. Other times he just needed some peace and quiet.
And sometimes he was too quiet for awhile and I would find him into something... like the snack cupboard.
There was plenty of fun time with Uncle Jeff.

Aren't blanket forts the best?
And playing dress up?

I was going to get a really sweet photo of Eli and his aunt and uncle. I forgot. This is all I got.
More photos of the cousins soon...


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

My Toys.

At my sister's house are a few treasures of my childhood. And I thought to take a photo of Eli playing with these same things I played with. I'd like to find photos of me with these items and scan them... but well, I have laundry and a house to clean.

Our table and chairs (painted brown now)

Apra! Apee! If you ever were in my basement growing up, you saw our beloved giant stuffed ape.
Much great snuggling and pranks and Halloween decor with this guy.
Quite enjoyable to see Eli playing with things I once did.


Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Take 2.

Eli and I are back at home after a long day of travel yesterday.

We were stuck in traffic for a bit on the way to the airport because the roads were icy with a brushing of fresh snow. Then our flight kept getting delayed another five minutes, ten minutes, etc. It wasn't too bad but Eli was getting antsy waiting in the gate area. We made it on the plane, up in the air for 20 minutes and then heard the captain saying "We're going to have to turn back to the airport...something is wrong with the plane. Don't worry, though, the landing gear is fine. There will be fire trucks with lights following us when we land, but that's just a precautionary measure."

What?! But things were going so well! There was an empty seat next to us (praise God!) and Eli had already fallen asleep. Though to be fair, I was glad for them being safe. We turned around, landed with fire trucks and a police car escort, and unboarded the plane. And then waited (with no details or time frame) for them to fix the problem. They fixed it in an hour or so and we were off again... taking off the pilot said "thanks for flying with us, take two." This time we made it all the way to Charlotte with no issues I'm aware of. We were only three hours late I think, but it felt longer. The unknowns of it all and the twelve days of being on Eli sort of hit me like a brick the last hour of our flight.

Thankfully our little man flew like a champ. He had a few little moments but mostly he did great and was complimented on his good behavior by our plane-mates (consisting of all business travelers, one couple and a handful of hunters with their pheasant). To keep Eli behaved, I had the kindle with headphones (that he didn't keep on long), his new leaptop from the Lipperts, blankie, two books, and a whole lot of food. Plus, he basically got whatever he wanted.

Oh and that extra seat was still there. What a blessing. 

Love my traveling partner! More photos and stories from our trip soon.


Friday, November 9, 2012

The Elephant.

It's been a little chilly in MN so we haven't been outside much. Eli went a full six days without even a breath of fresh air! The fact we didn't have a car and the sickness aided in this stay-cation. But today the sun was shining and while everyone is at work or school, we had some lovely elephanty outside fun.

Elephanty? Yep. We found Ali's old costume that fits Eli just perfectly.

And this, my friends, is the pure adorableness I got to enjoy today:

Eli the Elephant!
Eli LOVED LOVED LOVED their swing. He did not want to get down. Ever. 
And when I made him get down and sit in the grass, I got this face. 


Thursday, November 8, 2012

No Innovations.

Last week (was it last week? I've lost all concept of time in MN-land), Eli and I did something I thought I'd never do. 

We went to one of those photo-studio places. You know ... the ones with the fake backgrounds where they try sell you expensive packages and your photos are ready in an hour. Yeah, that sort of thing. They have them in malls and in shopping areas. A few of our friends use them often. So one day I woke up and decided I wanted to try it. Since Eli had just turned 18 months, I thought an "official" 18 month photo would be good. I called them and we were there a few hours later. Bam.

And I didn't love it. I thought maybe I would. I wanted to. I really did. But I didn't have a great experience. I think that mostly falls on the fact the photographer was a bit of a dud. She didn't seem to care about Eli, getting him to smile. She just wanted to get her 3.2 shots of each background and move on to the me-buying them stage.

Also, I knew what I was looking for. A shot of Eli standing and smiling with a minimal background. But did they ask me what I wanted? No. They just did their thing. I did insert my thoughts (can we get one with him standing now?) and the pose I chose was from that suggestion!

I have decided to do a little pro-con list for you, in case you have ever wondered about these places. This is just my experience with one place (Portrait Innovations) and I am a self-proclaimed photo snob... so keep that in mind.


  • If you are okay with only one pose, you can get a lot of photos printed for only $10-20. It's quite cheap. 
  • It's fast. You can get an appointment within hours, have your photos printed and in the mail to family three hours later (like I did). 
  • If you rarely take photos of your kid(s), it's a great way to get a shot of them to share and have in the memory book. It may not be the best photo ever, but at least you have one. 
    • I think this would be a wonderful idea to those that have lots of kids and don't get enough group shots of them.... because taking photos of lots of kids is tough and hard to be intentional about doing. Again, it may not be the best shot of each of them, but at least you would have one decent, purposeful shot of them together for the memory book. 
  • They cater to kids. In this store, there is small play area. I did see a "no drinks or food" sign as we left and I laughed at that... how can you have no snacks for a 1.5 hour (that's how long they say it can take) window of time? I was glad it took us less time and that they let Eli eat. 
  • It's good to have physical printed copies of photos to give out. How many photos do I take of Eli but never print and mail? This forces you to get them out to doting family and friends. 

We got ALL of this plus an ornament for $18 total.


  • The end result is a very church-directory-look for most photos. This is due to their studio-type backgrounds and lighting. 
  • It's a very canned process. They aren't very innovative. They have a certain way they do things. Four backgrounds, about three-four shots in certain poses for each. I knew what I wanted but they didn't ask me, they only wanted to know why we came in for photos (birthday, holiday, etc). They are used to people that come in and want them to just do everything for them. I am not that person. 
  • How good your experience is, I believe, is very much based on the employee you get as your photographer. If you have one that cares about their job and is willing to work with your child/ren to get them to smile or be silly, you are going to have a much better experience. We did not have that. There was a wonderful employee that was playing with Eli and I so wish she would have been the one to take the photos.
  • After the photo shoot, you have to sit through each photo and say which one you like best. It feels just like the eye doctor. Which do you like better? A or B? Right or Left? Then you have to go through all the ridiculous packages (where they make their money) and say no... Honestly, if the shots of Eli would have been spectacular, it would have been harder to say no. I'm also good at resisting people selling me stuff I don't want. 
  • You really have to love one pose... because you will get a lot of that one pose!
  • It can be expensive. The normal packages with multiple poses start at $100 or so and keep going up.


If you aren't like me and don't take a crazy amount of photos or if you have ten kids and need a good family shot, then definitely try these type of places out. It's worth it! And even though I didn't love it, I'm glad we did it for the experience and the nudge to get more physical printed photos out to family and friends.

And if you'd like one of these Eli photos, let me know. I think I have 17 left.


Monday, November 5, 2012


Don't worry, no photos.

Eli had his first experience with the inevitable childhood occurrence of throw-up. We came to the land of sickness (aka my sister's place). And we knew it may happen. I came in aware. But nothing can prepare you for watching your child throw up for the first time (or ever probably).

You love them so much and you can't do anything. So tough! And it's still disgusting. Especially in the middle of the night. Whew.

I'm pretty sure my brother-in-law hit his clean up limit of puke for awhile. I don't know how single moms do it. My first thought when the you-know-what hit the fan was "where is Greg?!"

I just put Eli down for the night and still not another incident since the one last night... so here's to hoping for a more normal, less eventful night's rest.

We have had fun though, see:

Notice the pink necklace on Eli. Thanks cousins.
I don't have my computer or camera so I sort of feel like parts of normal me are missing. I'm so out of the loop. And you know what, that's a good thing once in awhile!


Saturday, November 3, 2012

On a Trip.

Yesterday I went through the Culver's drive-thru and then to Rainbow Foods to go grocery shopping. Where am I?




Eli and I came here for twelve days. Since we won't be seeing my sister and her family over Christmas, we decided to make a trip north. Eli is having fun with his two cousins and their (crazy amount of) toys. Currently he is enjoying a blanket fort with Ali and Ava and being told what to do. Love those girls.

I had to send my beloved Nikon in for service as it's been acting up. That means I'm borrowing cameras. This means the photo barrage of this trip may not be so extreme. But don't you a worry, there will still be photos of these three red-heads.

Sidenote: Culver's is the Chick-fil-A of the Midwest  Instead of yummy chicken, it's beef. Good, sweet, wonderful butterburgers. Goodness.

Second Sidenote: I was talking to myself in the grocery store. And then really wishing I was at Publix where shopping truly is a pleasure and they bag your groceries and bring them to your car... instead of having to bag them myself?! What?! I have gotten so spoiled.

Oh and if you are wondering, Greg is still in SC. My guess is he is reading, playing guitar very loudly, running, taking a nap, computing and all the other things he doesn't get to do very often with us around! He is missed, of course.