Thursday, April 28, 2011

4/27/11 - Playing with Scissors

I've really been slacking off with making sure I keep Nathan practicing skills at home.  It has always been my thinking that I shouldn't count on his school to teach him anything.  During the summer I did great! We had daily lessons and activities, but during the school year, I get really brain busy and I too quickly let those lessons slide.

Today I resolved to be better and decided that it would be the perfect day to practice cutting with scissors.  This is probably the one area that Nathan is a bit behind developmentally.  His fine motor skills have always been a touch slow.  He is improving, though.

After we finished cutting several pages from his "I Can Cut" book, we practiced writing his name and tracing different shapes that each other drew.  It's so much fun practicing things with Nathan. Tomorrow...Long Division!

4/26/11 - Exercise!

My Mom always told me that it was hard to fit exercise in when you have a child.  I thought...Not me! Surely I'd be able to make time for exercise.  HA!  I didn't realize that it's not that there isn't time to exercise, it's just that there are about 1 million other things that you need to do with that time. It's so hard to budget your time when you have 2 jobs, a 3 yr old toddler, and this insane daily blog you started.

I'm certain that if I listed everything that I wanted to accomplish every day I'd discover that I could absolutely do it all...if the day were 38 hours long.

Some things have to get chopped from the list, and the first thing on the chopping block? Exercise!

Well, I'm now facing an all too familiar problem.  My clothes are starting not to fit.  It really stinks.  I actually wouldn't mind having a few extra pounds...but we simply can't afford for me to need new clothes...I've got to get serious and fix this.  SO, today I asked Nathan if he would mind sitting in the stroller as I went for a walk.  He said sure.  I told him he could play with his bubbles as we walked along.  He thought that was a great idea.

I brought my camera hoping I could kill two birds with one stone.  To accomplish this, I took a very short break at the turn around point, halfway through our walk, and snapped a few photos of Nathan playing with his bubbles.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

4/25/11 - A New Hobby?

I'd been wanting to make some homemade candles for a few months now.  I purchased the soy wax and fragrances in January I think!  It just kept being pushed to the back burner...there was always something more important that I needed to do.  Finally, today I decided it was time.  I had all the supplies, Nathan was happily occupied, and I needed a task to help me put off writing this week's lesson plans. (HA HA HA HA!) How ironic that procrastination is often my best motivator.

It was really fun!  I had intended to make just one candle today, but I really really really didn't want to write my lesson plans, so I made six.  It feels good to finally fill up the glass jars I've been saving for months and months. In the end, the lesson plans did get done....but it was so much nicer writing them with the lovely scent of my new candles wafting in the air.  I think it's settled, I'm making my own candles from now on! 

The first of my many candles, freshly poured and cooling.

4/24/11 - Happy Easter

Had a lovely Easter celebration today.  Some friends hosted an Easter egg hunt at their house and Nathan had such a blast!  He was the oldest child there and we had to slow him down quite a bit so he wouldn't hog all the eggs. It's always so much fun to watch Nathan playing with other kids.  He's really grown in so many ways in the last 6 months since starting school.

Counting his eggs.

I love that I caught this.  He opened one of the eggs and the contents flew everywhere.

Official picture of the day.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

4/23/11 - Easter Egg Coloring

Hooray for Saturday!  Today we got our Easter egg coloring on.  I've got blue fingertips and about 100 photos to prove it.

Here are a couple.

Nathan extra carefully taking an egg out of the red coloring.  Note: strange 3 yr old brain couldn't resist tasting the red liquid no matter how much Mommy and Daddy said it would taste yucky. 

Snapped this after asking Nathan which one was his favorite color.  He proclaimed the yellow to be the best.

Fascinated and enthralled.

Nice macro shot of my multicolored eggs. 

A good time was had by all!

Friday, April 22, 2011

4/22/11 - Imprisoned Impatiens

I've been wanting to try this for a very long time now. Today being the last day of Spring Break, I thought it was the perfect time to give it a shot.

Man it's tricky.  I went out with a water bottle, spritzed the heck out of my potted garden on the patio and attempted to find decent water drops to shoot. I took out the tripod, but in the end just found it easier to hand hold the camera.  Sure, I didn't have much flexibility in my shutter settings hand holding, but I gained so much more flexibility in shooting angle.

I like this shot, but I'm sure that with practice I can do a lot better.  In fact, I'm out to see if I can find better flowers to shoot as soon as I finish this post. I remember some pretty white flowers when Nathan and I were on our photo walk the other day, so I'm going to see if they are still pretty and if there is a way to get them in a water drop.  Will amend this post later if I am successful.

Until then.  Feast your eyes on this!

That was fun!  Back from my little flower drop trip.  Man, this is a hard trick to pull off out in the "wild".  The slightest wind made this very difficult...and hand holding is shaky business. 

Here is my attempt at the white flowers.  I really love it! 

And guess what else I found.  Another ladybug!  Poor thing got spritzed when I was making water droplets.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

4/21/11 - DENTIST!

Had a dentist appointment today.  No matter how beautiful the dentist's office is...this is how it feels to me when I'm there.

Fortunately, no cavities....nothing too bad. Have to go back next Tuesday to have a few teeth sealed...but that shouldn't be too bad. 

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

4/20/11 - Modeling Fee: 1 Lollipop

Just in case you were wondering, that is what Nathan charges for one, sit still...look at the 

We had just finished napping in my bed. (lovely!).  I was waking up slowly as Nathan gently DUMPED out all the toys in the toy bin we keep in our room. He proceeded to play with his Buzz Lightyear laser.  He looked so cute playing that I decided to snap a shot with my nearby iPhone.  Guess my finger got in the way, so I got an interesting light artifact from the presence of my finger.  Thought it looked pretty I decided that it would be the photo of the day. 

Then, I thought better of it.  I decided I wanted to try to get the best photo possible in my bedroom with the iPhone.  So I asked Nathan to come play near the window so I could turn the flash off and try to get some nice light in his eyes.  He went to the window without a fuss, but wouldn't sit still for a photo for me.  (understatement)

That is, until I bribed him with the last Disneyland lollipop.  Silly boy, he was gonna get that lollipop anyway!  HA! 

Can't decide which I like better and white or color.  You be the judge.

I hope this photo adds credit to the opinion that it is the photographer and not the camera that takes a quality photo.  You just need to understand the limitations, strengths, and weaknesses of your camera and the basics of lighting to get something beautiful out of even the most basic tool.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

4/19/11 - Haircut

Finally got my hair cut today.  It had been at least 6 months...probably closer to 9...since I last had my hair cut.  I just can never seem to justify the I keep putting it off.  It's funny how much I used to care about my hair, and now I'm  I would spend hours looking through magazines for pictures of how I wanted my hair to be cut.  I'd play with it in the mirror trying to see what it might look like at different lengths.  I'd be very specific with the stylists and make sure they knew exactly what I was looking for.

And now....I just plop down in the chair and say, whatever you want.  I honestly wouldn't care if they chopped it all off.  Just so long as I didn't have to do anything to it once I get home.  I've come to terms with the fact that I'm a wash and go girl.  If there is any styling whatsoever, forget it!

I am still enjoying the red though.  I dread the day that I decide not to continue with the red.  I've been down that road once before and to save my sanity it will probably just end in one massive chop.  I have always fantasized about shaving it all off.  Hmmmmmmm......

For's what it looks like.  I'm thinking I may post another self-portrait tomorrow when it truly is wash and go.  It took the girl at least 40 minutes to style my hair. HA!

Self portraits stink.  My remote needs a new battery, so I just gave up trying to do anything artistic and just cranked my aperture up to 10, focused on the front door, set the timer and leaned right against it.  Sigh. I had such great intentions. And now I'm going to have to hear it from my husband how he hates when I'm so self-deprecating.  Too're just going to have to deal with it Rich!

Monday, April 18, 2011

4/18/11 - Clare Reidy

I was so saddened to learn that yesterday one of the most influential women in my life passed away.  I met Clare when I was 20 yrs old.  For some reason asked me to be a part of a play she was directing...Quilters.  I had never before had a speaking part in anything, but she believed in me, and taught me, and showed me that I could do it. I fell instantly in love with I imagine most people did.

The thing about Clare is that she truly took an interest in all of her students. I don't know what she saw in me, but I'm so glad she saw it.  She gave me some of the best, most rewarding, enriching, esteem building, and growth inspiring experiences of my young life.  All young girls should have such a mentor.  She both gave me a voice and taught me to use it. 

Today's photo is a gift Clare gave me after the closing of Hamlet.  I was Ophelia and this necklace was a prop I wore in the play and the "remembrances" that Ophelia returns to Hamlet.  I loved the necklace and was always amazed that I could wear it hours on end despite my intense nickel allergy.  (I could never wear anything that wasn't 24k gold). I cherished the necklace and always admired it.  It wasn't until after she gave it to me that I noticed the R on the charm.  This was HER necklace.  I was, and still am, enormously touched that she gifted it to little old me.  She made me feel so special and loved.

I'm so sad that I never really expressed to her how much she meant to me.  I hope she knew.  I'm so sad that she is gone but overjoyed that I know there are little pieces of her floating all over this world in the many lives that she has touched. And today I can wear this little piece of her...this remembrance of her love, her joy, and her gift.

 You can read more about Clare and see a photo of her at a fellow Clare lover's site.

Milk and Cuddles

4/17/11 - Patty

I had two head shot sessions today...both subjects were Harborlites!

Today's photo of the day focuses on one of the main vertebrae of the Harborlites vocal backbone. This is Patty.  If you're a Sweet Adeline, you probably know who she is.  She's pretty amazing and Harborlites gets to have her.  Patty runs the world's best "warm-ups".  I much prefer the term "skill-building" to warm-up, because that's really what she does.  She starts every Monday night with a full on group voice lesson, and it's wonderful.  When she's done...I get to stand next to her. :)  Not too bad listening to her tenor all night long! 

I could list all her wonderful attributes, and the multitude of her accomplishments, but I'll be writing all night.  Just know she's pretty fantastic....and aint she purty!

Thanks Patty for letting me use your picture for the blog!

4/16/11 - Geo-caching

Rich is supposed to write this post, but he's pretty busy right I'll just give it a quick shot until he comes up with something better.

Rich became interested in Geo-caching during our first year of marriage.  If you know my husband, this should come as no surprise.  Rich has always been fascinated with puzzles, brain games, and code.  Geo-caching combines all of these things into one fun, challenging, and intriguing activity.

If you're not familiar with the concept...basically there are a bunch of people out there who have hidden items all around the world. They left clues to the item's whereabouts and GPS coordinates to help you locate them.  Rich has found a couple of these things, but there was one that proved especially difficult.  Rich and I searched on and off for years for this particular cache. I eventually lost all hope, but Rich...NEVER!  That's not his style.  Finally, several months ago, Rich found the elusive cache.  You're supposed to take a token that's there and leave one of your own.  Rich took one of the tokens, an adorable Nemo bead, but didn't have something to he had just planned on returning on another date to add his token.  Today was that day.

Here is the cache as it appeared on Saturday before Rich added his token.

Nathan really wanted to take the turtle.

4/15/11 - iPhone, youPhone, nathanPhone, weallPhone!

Tonight, Nathan entertained himself at the kitchen table with my iPhone while I made dinner.  I don't know how people managed to parent before the invention of the iPhone.  I suppose they just lived with the children starting fires and stabbing themselves with the kitchen knives at mealtimes?

Joking of course, but I do love the iPhone and how it can keep my child (relatively) quietly occupied.  It has also really helped his fine motor skills improve. 

4/14/11 - Deviled Eggs

Whenever there is an event at Nathan's school, we are asked to sign up to bring a food item of some sort.  I always attempt to choose the easiest thing possible, but for the school's Easter party, Rich signed us up for Deviled Eggs.  I had never before made deviled eggs.  I'm pretty darn pleased with my first attempt.  They would have been more beautiful if I hadn't decided at the last second to add chopped celery (the celery clogged the fancy schmancy frosting tip).  Ah well, live and learn.

In the background on the right hand picture, you can see the flowers Nathan picked for me on our photo walk a few days ago. :)

4/13/11 - Date Night

Rich and I haven't had a date in months! We decided to take advantage of my mother, world's best babysitter, on her last night here.  I decided not to take my big girl camera, so iPhone photos will just have to suffice.

Rich found this great little restaurant called Flavors of Belize.

It's a tiny place...but the food was incredible and outrageously affordable.  Rich said that someone had recommended it to him...the little liar. The truth is that he had been scouring the internet for a local restaurant that serves conch.  I've been craving conch for almost 3 yrs now.  It seems to be practically impossible to get, but Rich found it.  I was very surprised!

Rich ordered 3 appetizers....each giant and delicious...that cost the whopping sum of $5.   I ordered conch fritters and the conch soup.  Rich ordered the Red Snapper at the owner's recommendation.

As she brought out the bowl of soup, we just both busted up laughing.  It's hard to capture scale here, I included the can of coke in an attempt to show how absurdly large the bowl was.  I had leftover conch soup for days!

As the owner/waitress brought out Rich's snapper, she laughed!  I mean come on! This thing was huge!

The food was some of the best we'd had in a while.  I'm convinced that the red snapper was the best fish I'd ever eaten.  So, basically what I'm saying is...if you're in the neighborhood you should probably check this place out!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

4/12/11 - Photo Walk With Nathan

Had the fantastic idea to take Nathan for a photo walk today.  I charged up our point and shoot for Nathan and grabbed my camera outfitted with my macro lens and out we went.  

I'm going to attempt to show great restraint because we took tons of pictures between the two of us and I got loads of macro shots that I adore. 

Nathan just LOVED taking photos and stopped to snap everything! 

The side walk, his tricycle, mommy, the pink flowers, mommy, the garbage can, cars, cars, cars, cars, mommy...etc... He and I happened to snap several of the same things and I thought it would be fun to do a side by side comparison of images shot at the same locations.

Mommy vs Nathan!

Roses in our complex. 

This is along the sidewalk of the very busy street by our complex.  The macro lens is capable of producing magic.

Bougainvillea along the same busy street.

One of my favorite shots from both of us.  I made use of a recycle bin for the blue background in my photo. 

Shot simultaneously.  Nathan shooting me shooting Nathan.

And...I have to include the lady bug we found as it's highly unlikely that I'll get another macro lady bug during this project.

4/11/11 - Feverish Again

I really thought we were done with the cold and flu season....but I suppose not.  Nathan has yet another fever.  He insists that he's not sick. Silly child.  I'm sure you'll agree with me after looking at the picture of the day that he is indeed a sick little boy.

But he's not all gloom.  A nice amused smile.

4/10/11 - Dutiful Husband

Wasn't really what I planned on posting today, but this photo struck such a chord with me that I had to post it.

It may not seem like much, but for me, this photo says volumes.  Rich and I had a playdate at the park with some friends of ours today.  I, needing a picture for the day, of course brought my camera.  I kept myself very busy chatting and taking photos of our friends little girl, and some candid shots of Nathan.

Rich watched our boy.

Rich has been ever supportive of my photography and this little project.  He has done so much to help me have the opportunity to grow and learn.  I just couldn't ask for a more wonderful person to share my life.  Thank you sweetheart for all you do and for everything you are for me and our boy.

4/9/11 - Region 21 Chorus Competition Day

Today's the day.  Harborlites competes for the Regional Gold Medal and a spot at the International Competition in Denver.

The day starts with a morning rehearsal. 

Immediately followed by a breakfast for champions!

Then up to our room where Lynn set up her hair prep beauty shop.

Hair up and face plastered on. 

And the fruits of our labor.  Woo Hoo....Denver, here we come!

4/8/11 - Hotel

It's Regional Contest weekend and tonight was spent in a hotel all the way in Pasadena.  What a trek!  Just a few shots taken in the room in the minutes before I had to leave for rehearsal.  My bed, the pretty little toiletries in the bathroom, and our view.

Wish I had a lovely story, but...well, it's a hotel room.

I suppose I could share the joy that was check-in.  I wasn't in much of a hurry...arrived at 7pm and rehearsal was scheduled for 8.  I had loads of time to check in before I had to be somewhere.  I'm glad I wasn't in a hurry because there were about 10 Sweet Adelines and one civilian in line in front of me and only one clerk. Seems that it hadn't occurred to the hotel management that there would be hundreds of ladies wanting to check into their hotel at the same time.  I felt bad only for the poor gentleman directly in front of me who couldn't possibly have anticipated such an odd situation.  

I just gotta say this...if you are booked in a hotel the same weekend as a Sweet Adelines convention...I sure hope you've got loads of patience, a great sense of humor, and an ear for music!