All Pictures of my Second Chin Have Been Artfully Cropped Out

Today Art took half a day off work and we took the kids for a morning at the Des Moines Botanical Center. Ryan and I went last year on a field trip with the daycare, but the rest of the family hadn’t been there before. The Botanical Center was full of exotic plants, water features, paths for little boys to run on, and photo opportunities. It was also a perfect opportunity to try out my new mei tai baby carrier, which I ordered off eBay just for such a time as this, since Gracie is not a huge fan of chilling in her carseat/stroller (BTW, if you’re in the market for such a thing, I would absolutely recommend this seller– she’s fast and her work is beautiful and very reasonably priced).

The nice lady at the front desk gave the boys a scavenger hunt full of plantish things to look for. Ryan was able to read almost all the words– such a smart little man! And we found all the items on the list.


In addition to the big dome with all the jungly plants, the Botanical Center also has a show garden where they set up all these little displays. Last year they had displays in all the colors of the rainbow. This year each was set up with plants and props from different places around the world.

We visited Japan, some tropical islands, and, of course, Florida–




Gracie was very thrilled by Florida, as you can see. Actually she conked out fairly quickly in her cutie little carrier, and in her sleep she charmed the gardeners and provided countless photo ops for my first, second, and third chins. Thank goodness for photo editing software.



I thought these orchids were pretty amazing, but once again Gracie was not impressed.


After we checked out the show gardens, Gracie needed a little picnic. This is her getting burped. Isn’t she cute? Sorry, I know I say that a lot. I just simply can’t help myself.


While Gracie was eating, this nice Botanical Center employee let the boys feed the fish over the stone bridge.


I was trying to get a picture of Gracie with the waterfall behind her. That kind of was a big fail but she’s cute anyway.


This picture cracks me up. Look at his facial expression!


But not as much as this one. Check out his shorts. Bahahaha.


In case you wondered, Art was there too. 🙂 He was busy taking tons of absolutely gorgeous pictures, which hopefully he will eventually put in his flickr photostream. If and when he does, I will be sure to link them here for you to see. Art is so talented behind the lens! 🙂


Boys like to climb, but Ryan was experiencing a conflict of interest between his inherent desire to climb and his fear of falling three feet into the shallow pool below. Ryan has height issues, what can I say.


I really kind of love this picture.


We walked a little way down the river from the Botanical Center and found this little Japanese garden. The boys thought these rocks were pretty fun to climb on.


And Gracie took advantage of the situation to show off her mad head-pushing-up skills.


These pictures were taken in the banyan tree in the dome area of the Botanical Center. I think these trees are so cool, and the kids in them are pretty cute too. Other people apparently really like the banyan tree too, and have left their marks all over it.



And of course, being that she is our child and therefore ornery already, even at only six weeks old, Gracie saved a big smile for when the camera was focusing on the tree trunks and not on her. She fits right into this family, this little booger does.


And there you have it, twenty or so pictures later. Our trip to the Botanical Center, and not a single shot of my four extra chins. Because I have pride, people. Which is also why I didn’t include any of those sweet pictures of me and the kids walking away from the camera. The behind, it has expanded of late.

I’m sure I can’t imagine why.

Now would someone please pass the ice cream?

**the title of this post is dedicated to my sister Laura**


6 thoughts on “All Pictures of my Second Chin Have Been Artfully Cropped Out

  1. Adorable. Much better than our trip to the botanical gardens…. Did I ever tell you that story??? If not, remind me and I will, but it was freaking hilarious.

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