Friday, May 30, 2008

Foto Friday ; Baby Legs

Here are few pictures that I took a couple of weeks ago. Just playing around, again. This is Dylan in her little "baby legs". (I put a sticker on the wall for her to touch and feel while she was standing on the chair so she wouldn't try to get down all by herself!). Have you tried that one, Mary?!

Anyway, we are off the Seattle this weekend for Dylan's first birthday party and also my niece, Gabrielle's, high school gradution. I probably won't report from the road, but you never know.....

Happy Friday!





Tuesday, May 27, 2008

This Week's "Ten"

I go through phases of writing things down, and I am currently trying to be back "in the phase". Holland comes up with some funny stuff. She is precocious. She is inquisitive. She's curious and creative. She loves words - short ones, long ones, silly ones, dirty ones.... Words. Words. Words. She's our "word girl".

So having said that, I am going to dedicate this week's "ten" to some of the funny things I have heard recently, and there are a couple that are uncensored. They aren't bad, they are just words of a four-year-old trying to explore the world both literally and figuratively. You have to understand that some of these things are just random streams of consciousness so that makes it all the more funny. No context. No associations. No connections. Just pure and natural speaking of the mind!

1. The other evening, we had a "girls night out" and went to see Beauty and the Beast with our friends Melissa, Lindsey, and Erin. It was a wonderful production, and a great evening. On the way home, Holland was thinking about the show and recounting what she had seen. She said, (in a growly, mean voice), "Mommy, Guston was MEAN. He was CONCEITED. And he was RUDE." I replied, "Yep, you're right. He was all of those things." A few seconds went by, and then she asked me (ever so inquisitively), "What does conceited mean, anyway?!".

2. We were are Fish trap Lake yesterday for Memorial Day, and Holland and her Grandma went on a "Mystery Adventure Walk" in which they were tracking animals, and writing down their observations. Apparently along the way, they saw what they thought was a big, black "string". Holland bent down to pick it up, and it hissed at her and slithered away. Later, she was re-telling the story and she told us, "That snake scared the freak out of me".

3. We were lying in bed the other evening doing our night-time cuddles and bedtime business, and out of the blue, Holland said, "Mommy, I wish that all of my friends and everyone in my family that I love could live in our house with us".

4. This morning, I needed to do a photo shoot with Holland for my photography class, and I can no longer just ask her to pose for me, or go to a certain place, or put on a certain outfit - not without serious bribing, anyway. So this morning I told her I would bribe her, and she immediately got excited and was extremely compliant (funny how that works). She didn't even know what the bribe was! Anyway, I was a little slow in getting her bribe taken care of after the shoot, so after a few minutes went by, she said, "Mommy, I'm ready for my bribe now." I was still a little slow on the uptake (probably because I was chasing Dylan around trying to capture my assignment). A few more minutes went by, and she asked me in a slightly whiny, sing-songy voice, "Mommy, why aren't you bribing me?". "I'm gonna bribe myself. Hmpff." And off she gallivanted to the snack drawer!

5. One of Dylan's favorite things to do right now is to pull hair. She loves to eagerly crawl over to where ever Holland is playing, and reach up and grab a handful of hair. Sometimes Holland is more tolerant than other times. This day in particular, Holland took on the I'm-gonna-be-a-good-big-sister-and-make-this-a-teaching-time role. So, she ever so gently took Dylan's hand and pryed it off of her hair and said, "No-No, Dylan. My hair is not a rope toy. It is not for pulling. No-No, Dylan." "Here, you can pull this."

6. I bought a few, new pairs of shorts the other day and one of them is plaid. I put them on, and Holland looked at me with this strange look on her face, "Are you wearing Daddy's underwear?"

7. Holland has been very curious lately about the upper female body parts (i.e., boobs). She has tried to touch them and squeeze them lately which she hasn't ever done before. I think part of it is that she has seen me nursing Dylan and is she wants to know about this milk thing. Anyway, the other night she said, "Mommy, I wish I was your boob." And I replied (very surprisingly, mind you), "You do?". "Why would you want to be my boob?". "Well.... she answered, I like your boobs, and I don't know what it would be like to be a boob because I haven't ever been a boob before.". "Do you know what it's like to be a boob?". And, I don't quite remember how I ended this conversation, but I did. I was gracious about it, but I definitely ended it!

8. One of Dylan's nicknames is "Dylan McMillan". Just a fun play on words. Holland came up with her own nickname and her own play on words - she calls Dylan, "Baby McMaby". (and she hasn't ever even seen Grey's Anatomy!)

9. We were driving down the road the other day, and she said, "Mom, dinosaurs are nice, except for the egg stealers and the sharp tooth."

10. I think Holland is starting to notice boys a little more these days. I am hoping it is just a fluke because I'm not prepared for this. Anyway, she saw an older high school aged boy the other day, and she wanted to say hi to him, but instead, she buried her head in my side, and wanted to scoot away. Later, she told me, "Mommy, I was shy about that boy."


So, there you have it. Funny things a four-year-old says in the raw.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

May They Rest In Peace

Holland was playing outside yesterday, and she came running in the house carrying a bowl full of water and shouting, "Mommy, Mommy, I made a swimming pool for the ants".

Yep, she did. There they were.

Floating on the top.

Bless their little hearts.

May they rest in peace.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

A New Subject For My Photography Class Assignment

I have been taking an online photography class for the last couple of months from Alison Tyler Jones through Big Picture Scrapbooking. I can't say enough good things about this class, it is just what I needed to take my skills to the next level (hopefully, I'll take my skills to the next level!). The areas that are my biggest weaknesses in photography are being covered quite thoroughly in this class. I need to work on figuring out lighting, not rely so much on automatic mode, and also adding "emotion" or a "storytelling component" to my photography. Her class is ALL about these things!

Our assignment this week was to do something that we hadn't necessarily done before, and to move in close for a "partial portraiture" shot. I always LOVE partial portraiture, and I gravitate towards this type of shot when I am looking for inspiration. I decided to change my subject this week, too. The girls just aren't very fun to photograph these days, and I haven't ever tried to work with Jonathan. I have been envisioning doing some documenting of him and his every day life, but then I always think he is going to think I am nuts. Today, I put all of that aside, had him grab his dusty guitar, and plopped him down in some beautiful, natural light that was shining in our windows!

Here are the results:




Speaking of Ten.

I have read a few of these "speaking of ten" posts on various blogs recently, and thought they were so clever so I am going to attempt it. Not sure if I will do it justice, but oh well.....

1. I overheard Holland talking to Jonathan yesterday as he was getting ready for work in the bathroom. She told him, "I think you look nice with your whiskers, Daddy."

2. Speaking of whiskers, Dylan also likes Daddy's whiskers. She loves to give kisses and she especially loves the prickly tickles from daddy's goatee and five o'clock shadow. She will open her up mouth (oh-so-wide) on his prickly cheek, scrunch up her nose, and giggle. And then go in for a second kiss and a third - scrunching and giggling the whole time.

3. Speaking of going in for a second and third kiss, my dear friend, Chanda, got married this weekend, and there were lots of second and third kisses! You should have seen the "you-may-now-kiss-the-bride-kiss"! I think there may have actually been a fourth, fifth, and sixth kiss on that one! It was such a wonderful celebration of two people so much in love. So refreshing!

4. Speaking of refreshing, I need to decide what refreshments I am going to serve at Dylan's first birthday party (yep, it's already her first, pretty unbelievable, huh?). Anyway, I have a tradition on Holland's birthday parties, I always serve whatever her current favorites foods or snacks are. This has lent itself to some pretty hodge podged culinary combinations, as you can probably imagine. As of right now, Dylan's favorites are grapes, pears, tangerines, rice cakes, macandcheese, and oatmeal with bananas. Hmmmm. Not sure what I will come up with. She hasn't shown much interest in any meats, yet. Although, she did devour a turkey sausage breakfast link this morning.

5. Speaking of turkey sausage breakfast links, I noticed last night that the package we had in our fridge expired yesterday which meant I had to cook the whole package this morning. I hate it when that happens.

6. Speaking of hating things when they happen, Holland is continuing to try out the word "hate" and uses it in the contexts of things that are happening. For instance, she will say, "I really hate it when you wash my hair, Mommy", or "I really hate it when Dylan pulls my hair". (Etc). She is not suppose to say "hate" at all, but she continues to push the envelope.

7. Speaking of pushing the envelope, I pushed a whole stack of envelopes in the mail box at the post office the other day. The envelopes contained Dylan's first birthday party invitations. They turned out so cute. They are the first paper-craft-scrapbooky-type thing that I have made in a LONG time. I am really missing the scrapping thing, but I just can't get myself organized enough to get back into the groove. I have acquired too much stuff, and now I am overwhelmed with what to do with it all and how to best set up a system. One day soon...... (I hope).

8. Speaking of acquiring too much stuff, I have asked that family and friends NOT bring gifts to Dylan's party, but instead make a donation to the Isaac Foundation in her honor. She really doesn't need anything right now. She has a ton of toys, a ton of clothes, a ton of teething objects, a ton of stuffies, a ton of everything! I figure that these first two years are really just for the adults anyway, and as long as she gets to dive into (and devour) her very own yummy, frosty cake then she will be delighted on her special day!

9. Speaking of being delighted on special days, I have a whole host of nieces and special days coming up. Two of my nieces, Gabrielle and Nicole, are graduating from high school. Another niece, Alana, is turning twenty-one, and another niece, Anna, is preparing to have a baby. So, congratulations to all of you and your special days. I am so proud of all of you, and I love you all very much! : ) I better stop with that or I might get pretty sappy.

10. Speaking of being sappy, I thought I had been mellowing out lately and my extreme sappiness had significantly decreased, but that's just not the case. I got sappy when I saw my friend in her wedding slip the other day. Yep, that's right, her slip - not even her dress - her slip! I also got sappy when I saw the opening scene from High School Musical for the first time (the scene were Troy and Gabriella sing their first karaoke song). I also got sappy when I realized that mine and Dylan's nursing days are pretty much over. And a couple of weeks ago, I got sappy when I arrived at my first bloomsday race and there were thousands and thousands of people around with beach balls, costumes, and wigs, all waiting to participate in this fun, wonderful, family event that was happening for the 32 or 33 time! . I got sappy for Spokane. I even got sappy the other day when Holland's music teacher from school hosted a family concert and at the end of the concert, she started singing the "goodbye song".

Sappy. Sappy. Sappy.

Anyway, those are just a few of my recent sappy moments......not sure why I thought they were subsiding. Doubt they ever will.

Happy Tuesday, Friends!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Kisses for Holland


"UP"

dylan's first word.

(as of about a week 1/2 ago!)

Beyond Her Years

Yesterday, as Holland was slipping her foot into a pair of my heels, she asked, "Mommy, would you mind if I wear a pair of your heels to the wedding?"

Then the other day we were driving down the road and she spotted a boy, a few years older than her, sitting on a bench. She said,
"Mommy, do you see that boy over there?"
I said, "Yeah".
"Well, I want to marry him when I get older".
"You do?", I asked (very suprisingly).
"Yeah".
"How come?"
"Because I think he's handsome".

Then on a completely different day a few weeks ago, she asked me, "Mommy, when I get older can I color my hair?" (you might have to get out the checkbook, grandma!) : )

I thought we had at least 10-12 more years before these conversations started.......

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Best Mother's Day Present, EVER!

So, Jonathan actually surprised me this year!

(Well...... sorta surprised me). Sorta - meaning - I gave him the idea months and months ago and thought he forgot about it, but he secretly remembered and pulled off one of the very few surprises he has ever attempted to pull off!

I found out a few months ago about this really cool web service where you can upload your blog to it, and then have it printed out in book format. The whole time I was writing my bedrest story on my Bedrest Boutique blog, I was paranoid that it might just disappear one day in cyberspace. I kept thinking that surely there was a way to back it up, but I just didn't know how. Anyway, I was reading someone else's blog and she had a blog post about making her blog into this wonderful, hardback, coffee table like book. I was immediately sold on the idea!

I visited the site (http://www.blurb.com/), but was overwhelmed with the amount of time it was going to take to design the front and back covers, each page layout, the inside jacket, etc. I told Jonathan that it would be a good Mother's Day present for me (this was in January!). I didn't ever expect him to actually remember that, much less sit down and take the time to work on it without me knowing about it!

You see, he is a non-surprise-kind-of-guy so his usual style would have been to tell me ahead of time (way ahead of time) that he wanted to do that for me, thus removing any trace or element of surprise. I would have spent the weeks leading up to Mother's Day knowing what to expect, feeling slightly disgruntled and disappointed that he couldn't have just gone one step further and shut up about it! Really what he doesn't understand is that the secrecy, the thoughtfulness, and the discipline it takes to keep me in suspense means just as much to me as the gift does!


He came through though, so enough of my I-hope-he's-reading-this-so-he'll-know-next-time - just-how-much-I-love-surprises tangent!


Anyway, I received it in the mail today, and it is absolutely amazing. You can see pictures of it here and here and here.

I can't believe the flood of emotions that came over me while I was flipping though it.

Well..... I guess I actually *can* believe it when I stop and remember what a journey it was.

Living in the hospital for seven weeks with my husband and (then) three year old daughter was very challenging. Not knowing if we were going to come home with our baby girl or not was a life altering, humbling experience.

Life at home for an additional 10 weeks with very few privileges, and still not knowing the outcome, was not any easier.

It was a journey. Indeed.


It was the kind of journey that stopped me dead in my tracks - freezing me - causing me to look around and hold onto all who were dear to me.


It was the kind of journey that pushed me beyond my comfort level, demanding that I relinquish all control, confronting me daily that I didn't know what the future would hold. I didn't know if there would be a baby to hold.


It was the kind of journey that woke me up at night as I yearned for peace and understanding and God's grace.


It was the kind of journey, so arduous, so exhausting, that you think it won't ever end, but now looking back doesn't seem quite so bad. Especially given the gift of life that we now call "Dylan Grace".


It was the kind of journey that shook me. Challenged me. Defined me. And most significantly, changed me.


It was the kind of journey that was worth all the unstable, rocky terrain because the view looking back is spectacular. Astounding. Miraculous.


It was the kind of journey that I would do all over again.


It was a journey. Indeed.


P.S. Click here to order your own copy!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Playing Around with Photoshop




These are just some shots of Holland playing around on her trapeze bar. I thought I would try out some of the pioneer woman's free actions. These are the "soft and faded" action. I love this soft faded look. I am hoping to continue broadening my photoshop knowledge - which shouldn't be too hard since I know absolutely nothing about it!

Anyway, this weekend we are suppose to get 85-90 degree weather so Holland should get lots more trapeze action. Maybe trapeze/sprinkler combo action! (that was a favorite summer activity last year!) I didn't actually capture any shots of that though so I will be on the photo prowl and try to freeze frame it this season for sure!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Mother's Day Tradition

Every year on Mother's Day, we have a tradition of having a photo shoot in the Lilac Garden at Manito Park. It has been just Holland and me for the last four years, and last year I was pregnant with Dylan. I'm not sure if I was actually suppose to be at the Lilac Garden last year since I was still on strict bedrest, but I refused to miss out on the tradition. I think I made a deal with Jonathan that I would take it super easy, and he reluctantly granted me permission.

I love traditions, and I love how we will capture the growth of our girls through the years. Unfortunately, the lilacs are not in bloom yet since we have had such weird weather these last few months. Hopefully, we will get to have our photo shoot before too long as I am eager to include Dylan into our sweet tradition. I will post some pictures as soon as that happens, but for now here is one picture from each of the previous years.







2007


Holland 3 1/2 years old



2006


Holland 2 1/2 years old




2005


Holland 18 months old




2004


Holland 6 months old

Friday, May 9, 2008

Foto Friday


I went out to a friend's house the other day for a photo shoot, and these are a couple of shots that I ended up with. I went to photograph her and her two boys, but I snuck in a couple of shots of my girls while in the process. They live out in the country, and they have a neighbor who has a couple of antique tractors. She called him up and asked him if we could get some pictures of the kids on them, and he was just tickled to have an excuse to get them out of the garage. It was pretty neat. The shots I took of my friend's son are priceless, but I haven't asked her permission about posting any so I'll need to do that before I can show them off.

In the first picture, Holland is attempting to get up on the tractor but she forgot she had her puse with her. She turned to me and said, "here hold my purse". Then within a few seconds she wanted her purse back. She lost all interest in climbing up in the driver's seat.

That pretty much sums her up - one foot in poopy, tomboy land, and the other foot in princess, fairtale land. Too bad I didn't have one of her princess dresses on hand - now that would have been a priceless shot for sure!


Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Ten.

1. I am officially a "bloomie"! Jonathan and I ran in "Bloomsday", a 7.5 mile road race in Spokane, this last weekend. We have lived here 8 years and I can't believe that I haven't ever done it (Jonathan has run it 3 times without me). It is a huge race - 50,000 participants. It was so much fun, and I am already ready for next year! I loved seeing how the community comes together on this day - there are individuals, couples, groups, families, corporations, teams, etc. ALL participating at varying levels. There are lots of bands, street musicians, costumes, wigs, matching shirts, and who knows what else all along the way. A total blast!

2. In other bloomie news, Jonathan and I both met our personal goals. He ran about 9.5 minute miles, and I ran about 10.5 minute miles. I'm hoping to better my pace, but I'll take that for now.

3. Dylan has mastered a few new skills - clapping, waving, patty caking, and most recently, as of yesterday, crawling up the stairs! ALL of the stairs. I can't even walk past the stairs with her in my arms without her protesting and reaching for them. She insists on doing it over and over and over!

4. I've done a couple of photo shoots lately for friends and I'm starting to get jazzed. I have so much to learn so I am very appreciative to get to "practice". I have volunteered to put together a calendar of photography of local kids with autism for a charity fundraiser. The proceeds will benefit the Isaac Foundation which is a local non-profit organization that is providing scholarship funds for therapy services for families of children with autism. I am so thrilled to be a part of this. Check out their website here, and if you live here locally and are a family or know of a family that is interested in having a child (with autism) photographed then please leave a comment and I will contact you!

5. One month from tomorrow and we will be heading to Disneyland. Yippee. The countdown has begun.....

6. I forgot to mention earlier that I roped my sister and her husband into running Bloomsday with us. Neither one of them have hardly run a day in their lives except for the weeks leading up to the race. Hopefully, this was the start of a new annual tradition. Good job, guys! I am very proud of you both!

7. Every year on Mother's Day, I have a tradition of getting my picture taken with Holland in the lilac gardens at Manito Park (which is within walking distance of our house). We started this tradition when she was only 6 months old. I can't wait to have both girls in the pictures this year, although the lilacs haven't quite started blooming, yet. Bummer. Bummer. Bummer.

8. I think mine and Dylan's nursing days are coming to an end. I have only been nursing her a couple of times a day anyway, but I was hoping to make it to a year. HOWEVER, the bite-clamp-streeeeetch-twist action isn't quite working for me! Enough said.

9. In case any of you were wondering about the adoption of the "wag more, bark less" philosophy, it is still going wonderfully. I have been trading my barks in left and right for more wags with only a couple of slip ups. Holland is very quick to remind me though so the slip ups that I have had have been very short lived!

10. Off to edit some photos from a photo shoot today. Maybe I'll share some this week if I get permission!

Happy Tuesday! Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

No Babies Allowed


beyond this tape