Saturday, February 28, 2015

2/28/15 - Day 59 - Fruity

Had no ideas for a picture today, but Rich suggested I take a photo of the fruit he purchased to kick of this new fun diet he'll be doing for all of March.  Rich enjoys doing these elimination diets now and then.  I just don't get it.  I'm not a fan of depriving myself of stuff that I want, but Rich seems to do it well.  Here's to a month of fruit, veggies, and meat.  Hello Whole 30.

Friday, February 27, 2015

2/27/15 - Day 58 - Yowch!!!!!

Just before leaving work today I accidentally dropped an old TV on my big toe.  What's amazing is that when it happened it didn't really hurt, but I knew it was pretty bad.  My toe was instantly numb and sort of buzzing.  I had a feeling that soon it would be in great pain.  It didn't take long for the entire toe nail to turn purple....which is what you're seeing here. 

Now, because I'm writing this post a month after this incident I can tell you that the actual injury was pretty horrible.  The immense pain that resulted from this incident could not be ignored.  Thinking that it would soon resolve itself I tried hard to ignore the throbbing, radiating, pain, but I couldn't.  I made it as far as Monday night....when I decided to consult Dr. Internet.  Dr. Internet was very clear that a toenail that looked like mine needed to be seen by a real life doctor.  Finally, after 4 days of limping and grimacing I relented and made an appointment with a podiatrist. I continue to refer to this as the smartest thing I've done so far this year.  He fixed it.  I was instantly able to stop limping!  It would take another week and a course of antibiotics for the pain to completely subside, but instantly the pain was reduced by about 80%.  No longer did the bedsheets brushing across my toe make me wince! Hooray!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

2/26/15 - Day 57 - Open House

Tonight was Open House / Science Fair at Nathan's school.  I get to see Nathan's classroom every week, but it was fun for Nathan to have his Daddy and brother in his classroom as well.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

2/25/15 - Day 56 - Bulldozer

It is a very rare day when I only take one photo.  I took James to the park today after teaching Nathan's music class.  I figured this was my best opportunity to get a cute photograph.  I just really quickly pulled out the iPhone and snapped James playing with his bulldozer at the park.  James is a little bit obsessed with construction machines....and trains...and planes....and cars.  I guess he's pretty typically boy in that way.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

2/24/15 - Day 55 - Going Out

Rich will tell you that I'm not much a fan of "going out".  I'm really a homebody.  I prefer to relax at home and do nothing...especially lately when I've been more stressed and depressed than usual.  Rich was home from work early tonight, a real rarity on a Tuesday, and he thought it would be fun to go out.  I was not so receptive to the idea, but said okay.  For me taking the boys to a restaurant is about as much fun as having teeth pulled...but I didn't want to make dinner either, so out we went. 

We stopped by a park first, a park that was far from home. I was a bit irritated that we were venturing so far from home because it was nearing dark and the kids wouldn't have much time to play before it was time to go.  But, Rich is ever the adventurer and thought a new park would be more fun.

Well, Rich was right.  We had so much fun. The park was small but had one of the tallest play structures I have ever seen at a park like this.  It was a little frightening watching James play up that high!  The kids (and adults) all had a fantastic time.  Dinner wasn't even so bad.  I make Rich sit next to James because....well, I just can't.  James is better behaved sitting next to Rich and my stress level sky rockets sitting next to James at a restaurant. We went to this funny little restaurant called the Junkyard Cafe.  It was so fun, all the decor old broken down toys, signs, car pieces, etc....  It was less stressful when the seats you were sitting on were already being held together with duct tape.  The food was great and although bedtime on a school night was later than I was comfortable with, a great time was had by all.

Monday, February 23, 2015

2/23/15 - Day 54 - Waiting

Monday's are a bit challenging since Nathan's gymnastics class changed from Saturday to Monday afternoon.  James is improving a lot, but it is quite the challenge to keep him happy, well behaved, and occupied for an hour and a half every Monday.  The phone sure does help though. 

Sunday, February 22, 2015

2/22/15 - Day 53 - Last Minute Photo

Rich has this terrible habit of falling asleep on the couch when I spend way too much time working at the computer.  He gets mad at me when I try to wake him to come to bed so I've given up even attempting to wake him.  However, tonight this is the end result. This is what happens when you fall asleep on the couch when I have forgotten to take a photo earlier in the day.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

2/21/15 - Day 52 - Black Eye

I got into bed tonight thinking that I hadn't taken a picture today, then I remembered.  I took a picture this morning of my black eye.  I threatened to Rich that I would post it on Facebook indicating him in some hilarious domestic battery incident.  He convinced me that it might not be so funny.  Truth is, the black eye was a hilarious domestic battery incident, but it was all James's doing.  James whacked me in the eye with an iPhone.  We're pretty sure it was an accident.

Friday, February 20, 2015

2/20/15 - Day 51 - Smooshed

This is the problem with waiting so long to blog these photos.  I can't remember the exact circumstances when I took this photo.  I think that maybe this was a night when Rich was coming home late.  I know that the boys and I were watching tv, though I don't know what we were watching.  I just remember thinking how funny it was that we were all smooshed together.  James really loves to use my face as a head rest. I'm not quite as fond of that. I do distinctly remember feeling guilty that the photo was going to be terrible quality and that I am not really doing this project justice falling back on my iPhone so much.  But, that's just the way life is right now.  I'm busy, and stressed, and keep saying at least I haven't given up yet.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

2/19/15 - Day 50 - Penmanship

Nathan has always had difficulty with penmanship.  He's so very smart, and his brain is so very quick that I think it's just too difficult for him to slow down enough to write legibly. So, today, we practiced our letters.  While we were doing that James insisted that I take a photo of the x in the that's a bonus picture for today.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

2/18/15 - Day 49 - Music Lesson

James wanted to play the guitar a little, so we did.  I held the chords down as he strummed and sang "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star".  Over and over.  There's a video too....will try to add it. He's so cute.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

2/17/15 - Day 48 - All Nighter

I really thought that I had planned out the timeline for this Science project flawlessly.  I was very careful to make sure we did everything early enough that we wouldn't have to rush any of the steps.  Well, somehow I missed that the project was due on a Wednesday instead of a Friday like every other large project Nathan has ever had. Well, that meant that we had to stay up a bit late tonight to get the board for his Science project done.  There were only a few tears....mine. (kidding).  Part of the problem was that the kids were supposed to do everything themselves. So, I had to teach Nathan how to use Word to format the text and type out all of that stuff.  Then I taught him how to use the paper cutter to get nice straight lines.  (It was either that or have chicken scratches on jagged scraps of paper)  

Nathan always thinks that these are the best days ever.  I guess it speaks well that the most stressful experiences for me are often the most enjoyable for him.  We got it done and all is well.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

2/15/15 - Day 46 - Sleeping Beauties

Was cutting it close tonight.  I let the whole day go without taking a photo, so Rich suggested I go take a photo of the boys in bed.  It was a great idea.  Of course, it's really difficult to take photos in complete darkness, but I managed...somewhat. 

2/14/15 - Day 45 - Valentine's Day

Somehow having two boys has taken pretty much all of the romance out of Valentine's day.  But there is certainly still lots of love. Today I had a date with all three of my boy's.  We ventured out to the Arclight for James's very first movie in a movie theater.  We figured it would be safe enough to bring a 3 yr old to a 10 am showing of the Spongebob Movie.  We were right.  James (who had been a pill all morning) was great as soon as we sat down in front of that big screen.  He was just enthralled for almost the entire movie.

Then, it was to the Cheesecake Factory for a lovely lunch with all the boys I love most in this world. 

I actually have a few pretty cute photos of James at this lunch, but this one somehow seemed to represent the actual experience of going out to a restaurant with James the best.

Friday, February 13, 2015

2/13/15 - Day 44 - Music Makers

I can't post today's is prohibited by LAW.  I was teaching "Oh My Darling Clementine" to my 4th graders today.  4th grade studies California, so I always do a "Music In California" unit.  There are a few lessons where I get to use the classroom dulcimers and this is one of them.  Clementine can be accompanied easily with just two chords...on a DAA tuned dulcimer that means just one finger going down and up.  It's a fantastic way for kids to get started playing a string instrument. They love it.  It's a song they already kind of know which makes the addition of playing while singing not too difficult. 

The photo is a panorama shot with my iPhone of all of my (best behaved) 4th grade class playing and singing in their groups.  I took a video of this as well...I really wish I could share it with you because as a music teacher, these are the moments that warm my heart.  30+ children, working together, all singing and playing, helping each other, having a wonderful time enjoying music! 

Oh well, I have to keep this one to myself...but I'm so glad I have it.  You'll have to imagine it.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

2/12/15 - Day 43 - Simerman Dulcimer

I was doing my String Family lesson with my 3rd graders this week which meant that it was time to get out my "good" dulcimer.  I always tell the kids (and I don't think it's an exaggeration) that this is the most valuable thing I own, besides my car and my camera gear. I purchased this dulcimer in, I think, 2006...I can't really be sure exactly when.  But, I do know that this was the dulcimer of my dreams.  I must have bought (and sold) about 6 dulcimers before finally getting this one. It fit the bill in every way.  I prefer my dulcimer to have a sweet mellow sound over the characteristic twangy sound dulcimers often have.  I also have small hands which means that a dulcimer with a shorter vibrating string length is what I need.  This one also has a double back which means its good and loud. It has walnut sides and back (good for a warm sound) and I can't remember what the top is, but it smells divine! 

I honestly don't remember what I paid for it, but it's priceless to me.  While I can always get the same car or a replacement camera, my beloved dulcimer is not replaceable. The maker of this beautiful instrument passed just about a year after making this instrument, unexpectedly at the age of 45.  His instruments are very special and loved. There are about 850 Simerman dulcimers out there in the world and I am the fortunate and proud owner of  #801.

Life is so busy that I have kept this amazing instrument in its case for an entire year.  I'm ashamed of myself for that!  I really have to resolve to play it much more often!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

2/11/15 - Day 42 - Grapefruit

This grapefruit was so delicious that I decided I had to photograph it.  When I was growing up on the East coast my mother talked about how much she loved grapefruit.  I thought she was nuts.....until I moved back to California as an adult.  Man oh man are the grapefruits here delicious!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

2-10-15 - Day 41 - Grocery Trip

I hate having to go to the grocery store with both boys, but sometimes it just can't be avoided.  The trip started off well enough, with Nathan working hard to make James laugh....but, by the end.... *sigh* I suppose it wouldn't be a grocery shopping trip if there weren't at least one melt down.

Monday, February 9, 2015

2/9/15 - Day 40 - New Gym

Nathan has been taking gymnastics classes for a little over a year now.  His classes were taking place at a very old gym in one of the local colleges.  But the college had been working for years on a new gymnastics facility that finally opened today. This is our first time seeing the gym! We were both so excited.  New mats, new equipment, new kids.

Nathan is also taking gymnastics class on Monday now (instead of Saturday).  I'm not sure we're going to be able to maintain this schedule because a Monday practice means I have to have James with me, and leave straight from Gymnastics to rush down to chorus as fast as I can.  Ugh....  The nice part, however, is that Nathan will be able to have class with students at his same level and age.  Before it was either same age, but low level, or same level, but much older.  We'll see. 

Sunday, February 8, 2015

2/8/15 - Day 39 - Settling

We tried to plan a hike today, but it just didn't work out.  I had a ton of work to do and James was in poor spirits this morning (again).  I just wanted to go someplace where we didn't have to worry so much....and where we wouldn't have to be out too long.  So, the park it was. The boys had a glorious time.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

2/7/15 - Day 38 - Diva Day

Today was Harborlites annual Diva Day.  I wasn't able to work the whole day, but was able to perform on the show in the evening.  This is the world's best audience.  Hundreds of excited girls who impress rather easily.  I always have several girls running up to me after the show to tell me how amazing I am. They don't seem to have much of a filter.  I don't mind.  It's quite an ego boost.

I had planned to take a nice picture at some point...even brought the good camera, but there just never seemed to be an appropriate time.  I am a dutiful chorus member first and foremost! So, here's a goofy selfie of me all made up and show ready.  Aren't I just so beautiful!

Best part of this year's performance was that this was James's first time seeing my chorus perform live....well, since infancy.  It was Nathan's first performance since Diva Day about 4 years ago. Rich got a photo of us after the show.

Friday, February 6, 2015

2/6/15 - Day 37 - Grand Opening

Nathan's school had their grand opening for their new library today.  I picked up James and we went over to Nathan's school for the festivities.  Boy is James difficult to watch in a situation like that!  At the end of the event they had this great dancing group there.  They were playing the drum very loudly...and you can see James's reaction.  He was simultaneously enthralled and horrified.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

2/5/15 - Day 36 - Reading to James

Big brother reading to little brother tonight.  They were so cute that I scrapped the picture I had already taken today and took this shot. 

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

2/4/15 - Day 35 - Ants on a Log

I had the brilliant idea to make ants on a log for James to try for the first time today.  At least he ate all the raisins and I got a picture. Hrmph.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

2/3/15 - Day 34 - Science Project Experiment

This marks the year of Nathan's very first Science Fair Project.  He chose the topic of "How does increasing the height of a ramp affect how far a ball rolls down the ramp?". It seemed perfect since Nathan got that cool marble rollercoaster for Christmas.  Today we tested Nathan's hypotheses that the highest ramp would roll the ball the farthest.

Monday, February 2, 2015

2/2/15 - Day 33 - Morning James

Oh, how I wish I could remember what I was planning to write when I took this shot, but I just don't.  I probably took the shot because I was just playing around with the camera on my new iPhone and liked the way the sunlight was streaming in.  I wish I could ask the me from a ittle over a week ago, but I can't.  Oh well.  Here it is anyway.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

2/1/15 - Day 32 - Walt Disney Concert Hall

I finally did a photo session (partly) at the beautiful Walt Disney Concert Hall.  It's a great location!

If there's one thing shooting here taught me, it's that I really need to clean my sensor.  You should have SEEN the dots covering this image. UGH!