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My step-youngin’ is officially a graduate of the first grade! I suddenly feel like listening to Simon and Garfunkel, but that might be a bit…inappropriate. But, my goodness, the kid is growing up.

I recently realized how much being a step-parent is like being an unglorified, unpaid nanny. I do all the mommy duties, part time, but have very, very little say in his actual upbringing. Frustrating doesn’t come close to describing the situation. My opinions and thoughts concerning Noah often (or, constantly) get back-burnered by family members because I haven’t been there since Noah was born (which would have been odd since Dan was with Noah’s mom, hence Noah). I feel like an impostor around “real parents” because I’m only a part time parent; I actually get to sleep in every other weekend. But man, there is nothing more empty feeling than being in full-out mommy mode for a couple days, then…nothing. And Dan wonders why I baby the cats so much (hint: it’s not only because they’re so darn lovable and fluffy and always alert me when there’s a bug crawling across the floor).

I admittedly don’t do well with powerlessness. I’m not one to sit back and accept things for what they are. But there just isn’t anything I can do about this, and the entire situation is exacerbated by other circumstances, which I will get into in another post.

Oh, I’m not really as bitter as I sound. Or maybe I am. The situation is what it is,  I suppose, and I deal as best I can. And there is a lot of good in the mix, too, like the fact that Noah is an awesome, wonderful kid, and I do get to sleep in every other weekend. God, I love to sleep. Plus, seeing as I spent NO time baby-sitting when I was younger, and I have no younger siblings, I’ve definitely learned a lot about parenting and kids from having Noah in my life, things that it will be nice to know when Dan and I have kids. For example, if you keep a kid up past his bedtime, he won’t sleep in the next morning to make up for it. He will wake up at the same time and will be very cranky all day. Good to know.

And now, photos! Surprise!

The boys:


Me n’ the kid:


Noah spent most of the trip refering to Lake Superior as “the sea”, which I found very plesant. We vacationed by the sea last weekend. I wore a large hat to keep the sun from my delicate skin.  

Wait, sun? Or “sun”? See that big white blob in the sky? That’s where the sun should have been.


It was a bit chilly and sprinkly and very, very windy, but we still had a wonderful time. We are hearty Minnesotans! Hear us roar (please ignore the shivering)!

We also drove up to Temperance River State Park, about an hour or so north of Duluth. It’s so pretty up there, and Noah had a great time climbing and hiking around on the rocks along the river. And he didn’t even fall to his death once, because we are good parents who didn’t push him in.


 And of course we spent time running around the beach pretending to be pirates. Ok, so perhaps I was the only one pretending to be a pirate. But still, yarrgh matey and whatnot.


Dan and I took Noah to Duluth this weekend and great fun was had by all. I took over 600 photos (surprise, surprise), which I’ll post soon. Well, not all 600 as that might be a bit extreme, but some of the more Duluth-y ones.


Rather than blather at you about my sleepy blurryness, I give you Pictures I Took Of Things Last Weekend. Enjoy.





That last photo is where Mr. and Mrs. Bingmar got married. Awww….

Dan and I made stir-fry again last night, but this time we added Quorn instead of tofu, and oh my god, that was wonderful! It almost has a sweetish-taste and a wonderful texture, kind of like fried tofu but more…stringy? It’s hard to describe so you’ll just have to try it (and try it you should! Yoda out.) I have a special place in my heart for Quorn, right next to the special place for frozen Kit-Kats (Kit-Kats are only good frozen) and coffee (Good in any form, except maybe frozen. This is way 152 in which coffee is unlike a Kit-Kat). That’s a tasty bit of internal organ realty, it really is. And…now I’m hungry. For Quorn. And Kit-Kats. I already have coffee.

There were strange goings-on last night on Bones and I’m still all a-twitter. All I’m going to say is, if I find out any of my friends is actually a murderer, I’m going to be really upset. And a bit intrigued. But mostly upset. I feel like I’ve mentioned this before on my blog; what an odd reoccurring topic. Jess Likes Hamsters in a nutshell? Friends=secretly murders, and pictures of flowers.

The bathroom is done! Do you have any idea how happy that makes me? Those words are among the best I’ve ever typed, hands down. The task is complete! And it looks lovely and soothing and clean; even though the actual remodeling has scarred me physically, mentally, and emotionally (no, I’m not being melodramatic), I couldn’t be happier with the result. Pictures are forthcoming.

I love flowers (if you couldn’t tell…) And Como Park is in full bloom!




Baby geese!!!


So, I guess I take a lot of plant and pet photos; perhaps it’s time to branch out. But not today.

(Get it? Branch out? It’s a photo of a branch? Shut up. I’m funny.)


There is a gigantic cemetery near my house, one of the oldest, largest cemeteries in St. Paul, and it’s one of my favorite places to wander and take photos. You never know what you’ll find there! For example, these flowers left on the gravestone of a nun who died at the ripe old age of 101.


Sigh, I love Photoshop. A lot.

Great bumper sticker I recently saw: “Make abortion safe, legal and rare.” I think that sums up my feelings on the topic very well. Very succinct, very straight forward. Plus I saw it on the back of a greenish-silver Prius, which is the car I’m currently salivating over. Pretty.

I was planning on writing a few other things, none of which I can remember at the moment, but I am feeling so blah, so flat, so gray, so apathetic today that there isn’t much to say. Things aren’t necessarily bad, It’s just my silly little brain being its silly little self.

No, that’s not true. I know exactly what the problem is, but I’m not going to get into it now. Which, since this thing is going to be posted online, was completely pointless to type. Oh well. I’m sure I’ll live to type another day. (Although perhaps I just jinxed myself. Swell.)

I just heard my boss tell someone that he will “make people talk” and now I can’t stop thinking of us as mobsters. He is the Inforcer! My day is looking up!

What the heck are these? They kind of look like tiny loaves of bread, and when they’re not broken open they look like giant globs of dog poo. I’m pretty sure aliens are involved because, c’mon. Pods? Teeny, tiny pods equal teeny, tiny, pocket aliens! Rock!

 alien pods


Alien leaves! Oh no, wait, these are just regular leaves. Sorry to scare you.


Um, alien dead flowers? I’m done now.

Ok, so maybe my cats are starting to understand that they don’t rule the house, but they are NOT giving up the loveseat! Fair enough.  

A big thanks to Dan for the photo.

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