Friday, June 29, 2007

Four For Friday

If you read yesterday's post, you'll know that I am just not in the mood this week to come up with much for this week's Four For Friday. My Day today did NOT make things any better. A mistake was discovered at work.....either a human error or more likely computer glitch that cost our program nearly $13,000. The sad, sad, sad, thing is that the human is me. :( I am fairly certain that it was the computer, but it still feels oh so horrible, and having to go tell my boss was a low moment. He was very comforting, and understanding, but I still feel sick to my stomach over that loss of funds. Then to top it all off, I come home to read at least 4 "bad news" posts on my Internet baby board. I just can't take this week. The front page of the local paper featured a mother talking about the fact that it has been 7 years since her teenage daughter was murdered and there has still been no arrests. She spoke of her other daughter getting married. The bride couldn't bare to have a maid of honor that wasn't her sister, so they placed an empty chair with a pink rose on it beside her. I nearly drowned in tears imagining this. When will this week end??????

Sigh....so for this week's Four For Friday the best I can muster is four of my favorite pictures taken in the first four minutes my new camera was in my hands. Sorry friends....the is the best I can do this week! Bare with me....I should be out of the doldrums soon.

I took 17 pictures, and these are my four faves.

ummmm YEAH! This just figures! Freaking Photobucket isn't working tonight. LOL isn't that just perfect to top off my week. It won't let me upload...or access the pictures that are already there. So....here are four reasons I can't come up with a decent Four For Friday this week.

1. I am in a totally depressing and pissy mood.

2. Photobucket is a pain in the freakin fanny!

3. It is late, and I have ZERO brain cells left.

4. I am suffering from such a lack of creativity I can't even come up with a fourth reason that I can't come up with something to post. UMMMM did that even make sense?

See you next week. I give up on this one!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

It Has Been One of THOSE Weeks!

Ever had just one of those weeks? One of those weeks......one of THOSE DARN WEEKS?
This week is one of them. I have dark thoughts.....sad thoughts....worried thoughts. It is certainly one of those pesky weeks where I just can't get my mind out of the cyclical pattern of worry. It is these weeks when I contemplate too much. I think....I plot....I shake my head with worry, as there is no easy answer. There is no sure fire way to ensure that those I love will live a long and healthy life.

Sigh....the scary thing is that I am not sure what spurred this recent week of worry. Sadly enough, there was more than one thing that could be the root of this constant dwelling. Reading of a young girl, who at the age of 6 suffered from Flu-like symptoms for a few days, then died in the night. Going into work on Tuesday to hear that a co-workers husband had wrecked his 3 day old motorcycle and died. Turning on the news. Opening the paper. Keeping up-to-date on Heather's blog. All these things, all these moments, contribute to my over active sense of doom this week.

I think it started when I weighed Sugar Bear, and realized that she needed to be turned forward-facing in her car seat now. For those that aren't aware, I am a Certified Child Passenger Safety Technician. This certification is through NHTSA. For nearly 9 years now, I have been more aware of the dangers of riding in vehicles than any one person should know. I have been obsessed with Child Passenger Safety and spreading my knowledge. I am horribly aware that as my child ages, and is moved from one stage of car seat to the next, she is becoming less and less safe in the car. A rear-facing car seat, properly installed, is seriously the safest way to travel. Thus, my 2.5 year old child has been happily riding rear-facing from the ride home from the hospital, until about 6 days ago. As I buckled my precious cargo into her forward-facing car seat that first time, I cringed knowing that she is now way more likely to sustain a spinal injury if we are to crash. ugh.....this obviously set the tone for my week. As I drove, I found myself noticing things that could cause us to crash. I become more aware of dangers on the road, and I contemplated solutions, and strategies to avoid them.

One day, as I sat at a stop light, I saw a man driving a lovely 1960's looking convertible. It was pristine. I started to admire it, as it drove through the intersection until I noticed a darling child strapped into a car seat in the back of the car. My jaw dropped in horror. For the VERY first time I thought, "who in their right mind would put their child in a convertible?????" Why had I never thought about this before? I cringed at the thought of a roll over accident with that poor child helpless and so very exposed in the back. Why would anyone risk that? Is it simply that this man hasn't even thought of the possibility of a crash? Doesn't everyone imagine these horrible tragedies?

One of those weeks.....as big of a worrier as I am, of which most of you are very aware, I do want to assure you that I am not walking through life with a helmet. I don't spend my days looking over my shoulder, as my daughter and I hide behind the curtains in our house looking out at the big bad world. It is just one of those weeks. One of those weeks, where I worry about finding balance. Finding the balance between sheltering those I love from harm, and holding them back from living a full life. Where is that line? How do I decide what is worth the risk, and what is not? Do I let her eat popcorn while we watch a movie even though I know it is a choke hazard? How would I feel if she choked and I had known it wasn't safe? Could I live with myself?

Life is full of these hard decisions, yet in the end, it can be something no one could have possibly seen coming that snatches a loved one away. All this time worrying, and over analyzing won't stop me from being blindsided by tragedy. It is one of those weeks where I find myself struggling to assure myself that it won't happen to me. Then quickly ask myself, "why not me....what makes me so special?"

Oh it is surely one of those weeks! Round and round I go...and I am getting dizzy!

Monday, June 25, 2007

Spirit, Caution, and Love

My Daughter....my joy....may she never lose her spirit. I have hopes, and I have dreams for her. May she test the waters before jumping in. I have wants, and I have wishes for her. May she always be aware of my unwavering love, and may it always be reciprocated. As she grows into the individual she is meant to be, may there always be a bit of my hopes, dreams, wants and wishes in there.

As a part of another Group Writing Project, I am sitting here in the dark focusing on these things. Focusing on my girl who lies sleeping just beyond this wall. Each day, I find myself seeing more and more WHO she is.....WHO she is becoming. She is:
funny
smart
dramatic
caring
giving
people shy
talkative
pouty
adventuresome
She is just so very......Sugar Bear! I try very hard not to have too many expectations of WHO she might become. I want to leave that up to her, but as a parent it is difficult not to imagine who she will be at 4.....8.....12.....20.....35 (may I live to see this...please!) Some days I find myself surprised at how she reacts to things. I wonder...."where did that come from?" or "who taught her that?" I struggle to remind myself that she will react certain ways just because that is who she is, and THAT is okay.

Sometimes there is fear that she will become someone I don't know...someone I don't like. OH MY....did I just say that? It is the truth....I worry that someday I just won't "GET" who she is, and wish she was something different. WOW....that is so hard to admit. I am not certain that I am the only mom who closes her eyes and "sees" their child in the future, and imagines them being a certain way. What if she doesn't turn out to be anything like I imagine. That is a very REAL possibility. What if.....sigh.

Is it at all plausible that she will be much like she is now? When she is 15, will I describe her as:
funny
smart
dramatic
caring
giving
people shy
talkative
pouty
adventuresome
??????

On one hand it is exciting to see her become who she is meant to be, but on the other hand, it freaks me out! Sure this isn't something to get all worked up about. No need to put my head between my knees, and breathe into a paper bag. It is enough, however, to get me thinking....get me wondering. If I had to pick three things about my daughter NOW that I hope never changes, what would they be? Here they are:

I want Sugar Bear to NEVER lose her spirit. This girl has spunk...fire....adventure. When she sees something that she wants, she goes after it, and is usually willing to try something new. I certainly hope that she always strives to learn, grow, and achieve. I'd love for her to be a "take charge" kind of gal, and love life as much as she does now. May no one ever squash her spirit.

I want Sugar Bear to NEVER lose her sense of caution. I know this may not seem to mesh with my first want...but it does. She has this great way, of stepping back, and looking....listening...learning before she jumps in. However when she jumps in...she really goes for it. It is the time she takes to make sure it is safe that I value. I hope she always possess this sense of needing to be sure.

I want Sugar Bear to NEVER lose her love. The love I give her,and the love she gives back. At this moment in time...we are as close as they come. Our bond is is tight. May it bend, but never break. May she never NEED to push me away. It is my hope that as she grows, I can give her enough space so that she doesn't need to make her own. May there always be our closeness....a bushel and a peck....and a hug around the neck.

I know that no matter how much I wish, hope, and dream...these three things may never come to be. Am I prepared for that? Not yet. I am still living the fantasy. My Daughter....My Joy!

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Who Knew???

Okay, so I may just be the only person on the face of this earth that didn't know this, but I don't want to assume anything, and have another sweet child suffer. Some Tufted Caterpillars are Poisonous!!! Yup, they are...those sweet little hairy caterpillars have toxin in their hairs. WHO KNEW? Seriously....I didn't know this, but I really wish I had.

Go here to see some pictures of what type of caterpillar I am talking about. I don't know about you, but I played with these cute little buggers a lot as a young girl. I never had a problem. NEVER! So today, when Sugar Bear found two in our yard, I let her hold them and touch them all she wanted. It was fun and exciting for her. About 15 minutes after she lost interest in them, I noticed some red bumps on her face. Upon further inspection, I found over 20 red welts on her face, neck, arms, hands and chest. Each red bump had a tiny black hair sticking out of it. I tried to pull them out, but they just broke off. My poor sweet darling started itching like it was going out of style. I hurried her out of her clothes and into a cool bath, while I dialed "ask a nurse"! Guess, what? The nurse didn't know anything about caterpillar stinging hairs either. We did toss around ideas for relieving her itch, and reducing swelling. As I type my girl is covered with a baking soda paste.

Upon an Internet search, I learn that some of these seemingly harmless creatures can actually cause a DEADLY allergic reaction!!! ummm....hello....why didn't I know this? On this site, I read the following:
As a rule, it's best not to handle hairy caterpillars because some of them are poisonous. When specialized hollow hairs on these caterpillars are touched by us "thin-skinned" humans, one or more may break off, create a tiny scratch on our hand, and release a strong toxin into the nearly invisible wound. This process--called "urtication"--is analogous to a bee sting, except that the poison is transmitted by a scratch rather than an injection. Caterpillar urtications can cause severe allergic responses and even death in some people, so--as we said--better NOT to handle hairy caterpillars unless you know they are harmless varieties.

Sugar Bear is fine. She is napping now, and I am checking on her for breathing issues. I just feel so responsible for her discomfort. I don't want this happening again. So please join me, in being aware. I feel like such a heel for letting my girl get hurt by this darn thing. I am constantly encouraging her to experience nature. Now it has come back to bite us in the fanny. :( I now have to tell her the next time we see a cutie pie caterpillar that we can't touch it. darn it!

Friday, June 22, 2007

Four For Friday

A little bit of this....and a little bit of that. This is how I live my life. I have my finger on many different hobbies, and interests. I feel that I have a wide variety of interests, and some would say talents. I have a hard time believing I am very good at anything. Sometimes I just feel that I do a pretty decent job at most things, but nothing stands out as excellent. I often say that I spread myself so thin that sometimes I feel like I am just doing a half-ass job at everything. When it came to crocheting, knitting, scrap booking, stamping, sewing, and photography, I found that it was fairly easy for me to find my niche, and do a pretty decent job. Some....even a good job.

Today's Four For Friday focuses on four things that I have interest in, but I KNOW that I have ZERO talent. These four things bring me joy, and frustration equally. I really wish I could master these things, but the natural talent is severely lacking

1. OH how I wish I could sing....and sing really well. I LOVE to sing. Love love love to sing. There is a closet American idol in me. I adore singing loudly in the car. I totally can carry a tune, and I am not tone deaf, but years of cheer leading damaged my vocal cords, and my range is pitifully small. My huge honker plays against me, which is apparent in the nasally tone that rings out. I purchased a high quality Karaoke machine, so that I could sing at home, where no one would need to suffer though the sound. I used to spend a great deal of time rocking out in my own living room. I swear my pets thought the whole world was coming down on them. tee hee That could be why my one cat only comes home once a year. Hmmmmmm.......

2. Dancing, dancing, dancing.....oh how I wish I could dance. I am not really certain what happened on this one. I used to fancy myself a fairly decent dancer, but for the last 10 years I find it extremely difficult to move my body with any sort of agility. It looks like my top half and bottom half are having an argument when I dance. Well, to be fair...I am sure it isn't THAT bad, but it certainly is far from HOT! My favorite show is, "so you think you can dance!" I eat this show up like ice cream on a hot day! I imagine being able to dance around the stage like that. I enjoy all times of dancing, from ballroom to hip hop! It all makes me dream of having that talent.

3. An artist I am NOT! I can not draw...nor can I paint, but I would love to have this ability. I admire very much talented artists. I can hardly drawn a stick figure. I can make a pretty decent Fir tree. tee hee...but other than that, a 2nd grader could put me to shame. I am always disappointed when I pick up Sugar Bear's Magna doodle, and sit there with nothing I can draw. I want to impress her with a cat or a dog or at least a recognizable object, but I fail every time. Darn it!

4. The final disappointing NON-talent I want to share, is my severe lack of yeast bread making knowledge, understanding, and luck. I crave homemade bread, rolls.....and so on, but when I try....it rarely turns out. I even have a bread machine, but it only has about a 25% success rate also. Nothing frustrates me more than excitedly waiting for the timer to go off, only to find a bread brick. It is probably a good thing, I suffer from this inability, because there is nothing tastier in the world than a fresh from the oven homemade roll, with a TON of butter on it. sigh...I would be 6 thousand pounds if I could make a decent roll. Let's face it....that wouldn't help my dancing ability at all! :)


So there you have it. Four things I not only don't come by naturally I haven't seen any improvement with practice. I honestly think I just need to accept my fate, and just go back to tackling the things that I might actually have a chance of improving.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

On This Day!

My friend Ingrid tagged me for this meme. Go to Wikipedia and type in your birthday (only the month and day). Choose and write down 3 events, 2 births and 1 holiday. Then tag 5 friends.


Three events that happened on September 14th:

1886 - Typewriter ribbon patented.
1990 - Ken Griffey and his son Ken Jr. become the first father-son duo to hit back-to-back home runs.
2001 - Historic National Prayer Service held at Washington National Cathedral for victims of the September 11 attacks. A similar service is held in Canada on Parliament Hill, the largest vigil ever held in the nation's capital.

Two Birthdays on September 14th:
1879 - Margaret Sanger, American birth control advocate (d. 1966)
1964 - Faith Ford, American actress

One Holiday:
Formerly, in the Roman Catholic and Anglican churches, the Wednesday, Friday and Saturday following 14 September were observed as one of the four sets of Ember days. In the Irish calendar they were known as Quarter tense.

I am chosing NOT to tag anyone, but if you are reading this and feel like participating GO FOR IT, and leave me a comment letting me know! :)

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

A favorite Ice Cream Treat!

Ice Cream, Ice Cream, we all scream for ICE CREAM! Well, I know I do! I can't speak for everyone, but I LOVE ice cream. I have really not met very many styles or flavors that I don't like. I love everything about ice cream. The cold sensation in my mouth. The way it melts on my tongue. The fact that it comes in so many flavors. It blows my mind how many ways you can eat it this stuff.
In a cone.
In a dish.
Right out of the container. :) I am bad about that one. tee hee
With toppings.
Plain.
yummmmmm yummmmm yummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm! It is all just so darn good!

I try not to eat it too often, so that it remains to be the treat that it is. I try not to buy it in the carton, but a few times a year, as I just can't stay out of it. My most favorite way to enjoy this special dessert is to purchase a fun little smackeral of it at a mini-mart while on a trip. In fact, I get a little giddy and light headed when I spy one of those amazing little freezers that contain all the ice cream goodness. So many choices. sigh......Life is good!

One of my favorite ice cream treats of all time is the simple, yet delightful rectangle of love. The classic ice cream SANDWICH. YUMMO! I am not sure when I had my first one. I wish I did. However, I do know exactly when my daughter experienced her first. It was just the other day. We shared one. It was indeed a memory etched in my mind forever. I so enjoyed sharing one of my most special treats with my girl. It was melting fast, and she scarfed it down so quickly I didn't get a chance to take pictures! I know...I know...you are shocked. I am such a disappointment.

To redeem myself, I purchased a few for Sugar Bear and her cousins. We were having a BBQ, so it seemed like a perfect dessert. I imagined great pictures outside in the sun with ice cream sandwich face. Unfortunately, by the time we got to them, it was evening, the bugs were out, and we were inside. The pictures aren't what I wanted, but they still capture the fun. YUM!

Here is Miss S:



Here is Miss K:

Showing me how the cookie sticks to your fingers.


Here is my Sugar Bearl:


oh it really makes me want one. LOL


I was so surprised at how daintily they ate them. I wanted pictures of them holding the whole thing and taking big bites. I mean....isn't it normal to devour one in like 4 bites?

Saturday, June 16, 2007

I'm a WINNER!!!!!!

I am totally not bragging here....I am just so EXCITED! :)


Mommyknows
has been giving away prizes each day since may 1st. She is the bomb. I have been entering here and there for a month now. I am TOTALLY not the luckiest person in the world, so I never really thought I would win. In fact, most people think I am bad luck. So, yesterday when I clicked over there.....I was SHOCKED!!!! to see my name listed as the winner!!!!
I am thrilled with what I won. Sugar Bear will soon be a proud wearer of the Muddy Buddy Suit! woo hoo..... WE all know how much my girl loves mud, paint, and water! check it out! She has a great store there. So many fun products!

Thank you so much for the wonderful prize. I feel so LUCKY!

Summer Struggles

Come the first week of June, for the last 9 summers, I have gleefully skipped to my car on my last day of work, giddy with excitement for the 10 or so weeks of vacation ahead of me. I couldn't think of a single thing better than a job that allowed my to have my summers off. This summer.....I was just as excited. Just as thrilled, and quivering with anticipation. Yet, somehow....I am struggling. I am ending week two of my break, and I am lost.

I have pondered what is making this summer so different. I quickly came up with two very plausible reasons. First and foremost, my husband is home....EVERYDAY....ALLLLLLLLL DAY! Okay, so that might be a slight exaggeration, but not to far off the mark. For the benefit of those that don't know, my husband is a commercial fisherman by trade, and has recently decided to take some time off. Formerly, he would be gone for days, weeks and even months on end. Currently, he doesn't plan on working until November at the earliest. A couple things worthy of noting is that my husband doesn't have a single friend that doesn't work, and he can't stand to be alone. This is NOT a good combo.

The second reason I find myself in a quandary this summer is the fact that my darling little two year old has suddenly forgotten how to entertain herself. She is an only, and until the last month or so she was really proficient at keeping herself busy. She is an easy child, who rarely gets upset. She doesn't get into things, and she is fun to be around, but lately, she is needy. I hear the phase, "MAMA...come play with me!" at least 600 times a day. Don't get me wrong I love to play with my girl. In fact, during the work year I am usually lamenting that I don't get enough time with her, but I am not ashamed to admit that I am sick of pretending to be a lion. It was fun the first time....and maybe the second or third time, but after the 400th time I growled and chased my squealing toddler it lost a bit of its luster. I believe that a person can only find joy in the chase if it is a rare occasion. Am I wrong? Is it just me? Do other mamas find endless joy in repetitive play for hours on end?

Please know that I love both of these people in my life a whole heck of a lot, but seriously, I feel like I am being smothered to death. I feel as if someone is holding a blanket over my head, then suddenly and unpredictably yanking it off and yelling, "PEEK-A-BOO!!!" in my face, and expecting me to laugh, when all I want to do is cry. From the moment I wake up until the moment my head hits the pillow, I feel like I am only here to serve the needs of these two individuals. This isn't how I like to feel.
I realize that part of the problem is ME. I am a planner. I like schedules, and predictability. I am not at all fond of the "spur of the moment" mentality. These days, husband and toddler are more alike than they are different. They are both egocentric, have no one to play with, and think that I am the source of entertainment of choice. They are like two siblings jealous that mama is spending too much time with the other. I feel like I am in the middle of a tug of war tournament, and I am the rope. I am constantly pulled from one need to another.

When we wake in the morning, husband invariably asks, "so what do you want to do today?" When he asks this....he really doesn't care what I want to do, he wants me to come up with something for US to do that he likes. He isn't interested in the fact that I have housework, or want to get online. He doesn't take into account my need for a schedule. I want to keep up with my house, hobbies and still have fun with my family. I would like to do all this without having two people whining at me. I'd like to make some predictable plans each week, meet some friends at the park or the library. NONE of this floats my husbands boat. He fusses if I have plans to go meet a friend and her kids. He thinks I should wait to do that when he already has something else to do. Ummmm yeah, the problem there is that he never makes plans. He only knows what he is doing like 2 seconds ahead of time. I don't roll that way. I want to know that tomorrow, we are going to the beach with so in so. I don't want to just wake up and fidget around until we are all grumpy, then try to find something to do. It drives me crazy! My least favorite comment from hubby is, "I'm BORED!" He says this like it is my fault. I'm sorry if I am not entertaining you with my housework. I'm sorry if I WANT to check my blog and babyboard. This is what I want to do today, and I don't want to feel guilty about it.

I firmly believe that the first step in making all of this better is knowing the problem. CHECK!

Now I need to work on the solution. I tried to talk with hubby about it, and he just laughed at me. He just doesn't understand that I will NOT survive many more weeks of this chaos. My tentative plan is to find a daily schedule for Sugar Bear and I that I can try to stick with. I need to set meal, play, and nap times. I find that when I don't plan out time to play with Sugar Bear, I feel like she is tugging at my leg all day begging me to come and play.I need to just go ahead and make plans with mine and Sugar's friends, and hubby will just have to deal. I will also make plans for us as a family, and just hubby and I. If those plans fall thru, I will revert to the daily schedule.

I just have to do something before I crack. Wish me luck!

Friday, June 15, 2007

Photo Blogs To Inspire

Amy Wenzel
Audrey Woulard
Blogging with Brenda
Following my Bliss
Jeanette Leblanc
Jennifer Breton
Jotte photography
Life Thru My Lens
Lulu
Maple Three
MG Tot Shots
Mimi
Multiple Choices Photography
Overexposed
Pay It Forward
Photography by Ellen
Shutter Box
Tammy Jarman
Through My Lens-365
View from my heart

Corey's Blog Roll

Friends that Blog



Boricua In Texas
Crunchy As I Want To Be
Everyday Cookies
Exploring Autumn
Fairytales and Margaritas
I love my sweet babies!
Mountaineer Mommy
My Hands are Full, but so is my Heart
Now I Know What Life is All About
Peaceful Chaos
POZING
Providence Handmade
Saga City
Sarandipity
Simply A Delicate Balance
Sorta Crunchy
Suzy's Blog
Sweet Awakenings

Turner Blog



Various Blogs I Browse


A Life Uncommon
All Lotus, All the Time
A Mom's Life
An Eclectic Blog
A Virgo's Point of View
A Writer's Woolgatherings
Authorblog
Beanish and Other Languages I'm Learning
Big Blueberry Eyes
Breastfeeding Mums Blog
Bugs On A Blog
Castleruins
CrazyCath
Cronicles of Squidgyboo
Confessions of a Rotten Correspondent
Corbett Capers
Don Mills Diva
Driving With The Brakes On
Eclectic Studio Cafe
Everyday With The Kellys
Friedokra
Holly's Never Everland
Huckdoll's Hood
In The Life Of A Child
Jenty's Photo A Day
Jenty's Ramblings
Jo Beaufoix
Joeprah.com
Just Me- Mommy, Wife and Everything In Between
Kelly- big fat secret
Kids Kitchen

Laughing Alone In the Dark
Little Princess Chronicles
Melissa's Corner
Mom of 3 Girls
Mommy Knows
Momo Fali's
Momology
Mom On Wheels
My Fertililty Stories
My Little Drummer Boys
My Two Cents
NOLA Notes
Not World Famous
Now Is Good
Production, Not Reproduction
Quiet Radical
Ramblings of a Crazy Woman
Ribbon Rock Star
Running with Books
Secret Agent Mama
Shutter Sisters
Summer's Nook
Terri's Take Five
The Chronicles of a SAHM
The Daily Rhythm
The Egel's Nest
The Rocky Mountain Retreat
TNChick
The Things You Didn't Do
The Zen of Motherhood
Thrifty Fun

Tuesday Update
Up The Hill Gang
Want Not
We Are Reilly
What Works For Us

Four For Friday

Seriously folks....there is something about having a predictable Friday blogging plan that makes me realize just how fast the days go by. I am not thrilled that my summer is flying by. I just know it will be over before I know it. Then I will return to work, and wish I had done so many things.
I am the worst procrastinator there is. It is a skill I have honed over the years. I have come to my most recent level of procrastination talent pretty easily though. There seems to be this natural instinct in me to WANT to do lots of things, but not always get it done. I have this nasty habit of taking on too much.
In honor of my procrastination today I'd like to discuss four things I'd like to achieve this summer while I am off work. I figure if I write it here....I just might follow through with them. tee hee....ummmm yeah, at least we can hope. Hope is GOOD!

1. The first thing I hope to accomplish this summer is simply to scrapbook at least three times. I know this sounds like a peasly little amount, but I literally have only scrapbooked one time in over a year. At least that one time was a 12 hour scrapfest, but let's be honest here...that is pathetic. I used to scrapbook with my friends 1-2 times a month. I swore that I would not get behind on Sugar Bear's pictures. HA....funny story. I have taken....ummmm....do I dare admit it?????.....let's low ball it at 15,000 pictures, and I have scrapbooked approximately 112 of them. Would you say I am more than a TAD behind? Thus....I seriously need to get busy and scrapbook. I LOVE scrapbooking. I just find that I have taken on like 300 other hobbies, and rarely make the time to do it. I will make some time this summer!

2. The second thing I hope to achieve this summer is to find an organizational solution to my SMALL house, and LARGE amounts of hobby supplies. I am drowning in my clutter, and I am sick of it. I love my house. I love where we live, but it is a 1400 SQFT, 2 bedroom, 1 bath house. It would work just fine for us, if I didn't have like 4 billion scrap booking supplies, 3 million skeins of yarn, 40 yards of fabric, and way too many patterns, rolls of ribbons and buttons. Where can I put it all, so that it is easy to access, yet not out in the open? It is constant frustration for me. I will figure this out. Wish me luck.

3. The third thing I hope I actually do this summer is to continue to Blog at least three times a week. I would prefer to blog closer to five days a week, but I want to keep my goal realistic. I have been enjoying my little blog immensely, and I want to encourage myself to open up more.....look into my own being, and figure out what makes me tick. I tend to over analyze most things in my life. I hope that by getting these thoughts out of my head, I might learn a little something useful. I appreciate all the love and support of my readers. All 10 of you, that is! :)

4. The fourth thing I hope to fearlessly tackle is.....dum dum dum.....POTTY TRAINING! Yup, I really need my little girly to be potty trained by September. EEEEEKKKK!!!! So far....she is soooooo not interested. She thinks she is, but she isn't. She talks a big talk, but she has NEVER peed on the potty. We've hit the jackpot on number two at least 4 times, but number one is another story. She just isn't ready. I don't want to push her at all, but I need to encourage her with passion. tee hee.....Cross your fingers for us that the "Potty Power" video is the magic I want it to be. :)

So there it is....my goals for this summer. Reading back through them makes me laugh. I sure am a "reach for the stars" kind of person, huh? Hey, it isn't the size of the goal that matters, right? Baby Steps.....Baby Steps!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Seriously....This Is JOY!

I am not certain that I am even half way "there" yet, or if I'll ever be, but if I could possibly make a living photographing Maternity and Newborns, I would be forever grateful. You might remember my GUSH about my Maternity session I did several weeks back. It was by far the most creatively fulfilling moment thus far in my life. I would be lucky to have an opportunity like that again soon.

Two days ago, I had the extreme pleasure to photograph the tiny product of that belly! I met with mama and Mr. Landon for a little newborn photo session. It didn't go at all like I had planned in my head. Does it ever???? I had hoped for a sleepy newborn, whom I could just plop anywhere and pose. Instead, I got a little grunty boy, who doesn't like to be nakey. He wasn't fond of being out of mama's arms at all. I can't say I blame him. The REAL world is a far cry from the warm, cozy womb.

He was alert, fidgety, and hard to settle. The whole session was difficult, but in the end, I am so pleased with what I got. I am hoping that mom is happy as well. Landon, is a beautiful baby. I felt so blessed to honor this moment in his life. Mom was worried about his flaky, and splotchy skin, but I assured her that I was there to capture the newborn...and let's face it, newborns peel, and have splotchy skin. I love them just the way they are.

I'd love to share with you a few of my faves. It will be hard to choose, but I'll try not to pick too many! I have noticed that Blogger tends to resize my pictures to a size that makes some of my pictures look pixely. :( I am sad for that. I will hopefully figure out a way to make that better soon!

Thanks for letting me share this bundle of BOY!

There is nothing sweeter than baby feet.





The few times he closed his eyes.







This could be my fave






Special time with mama!






Okay, I'll stop! I have so many more. Thank you Mama Tina for allowing me to share these. It is pure joy for me.

Monday, June 11, 2007

All About Why I Blog

Today I am participating in a Blogging Carnival hosted by Chili. Go HERE for all the details.


How did you start blogging?
Well, to be honest, I just sort of jumped on the band wagon. I was having so much fun reading my friend's blogs, which led to other people's blogs, and I just got caught up in the fun. I have always enjoyed writing, and I find it to be really therapeutic. Sometimes I just need to get it all out of my head. I have noticed in the 11 years I have been out of College, I have lost much of my writing skills. I worry that in the next 11 years I'll become virtually unable to write a coherent paragraph if I don't do something now to retain it.

Did you intend to be a blog w/a following? If so, how did you go about it?
Yes, but originally I just hoped to have a following of friends and family. I sent out an email letting everyone know I was blogging, and posted it on my Internet baby board. I have sent out a few reminders via email also. Lately, however, I have found myself wanting to reach a new set of people. I am not sure why, but I find it a challenge I suppose. I have been reading all sorts of blogs, and I leave feedback for them often. I have also participated in a group writing project, and now this carnival. Hopefully, baby steps will get my name out there, and if a few new people enjoy my blog along the way....AWESOME.

What do you hope to achieve or accomplish with your blog?
It is simple really. I just want to get my creative juices flowing, have a few laughs, and share a piece of my life with others.

Have you been successful? If not, do you have a plan to achieve those goals?
So far, YES! I am blessed with wonderful friends who are faithful readers. :) My goal is to not bore them to death as this blog proceeds. It isn't always easy coming up with interesting things to blog about, but I'll keep plugging along.

Has the focus of your blog changed since you started blogging? How?
Nope, but I have only been blogging for almost 2 months now, so there really hasn't been much time to evolve.

What do you know now that you wish you'd known when you started?
Hmmmmmm.....I am not sure.....I have learned so much, but nothing really that I NEEDED to know when I started though.

Do you make money with your blog?
Ha Ha Ha.....ummm NO! Would be fun and interesting, but I doubt I'll ever get that popular.

Does your immediate or extended family know about your blog? If so, do they read it? If not, why? What two pieces of advice would you give to a new blogger?
Yes, they know, but most do not read it. There are a variety of reasons ranging from not being interested to having a super slow Internet connection. I am not bothered by it though. I prefer my friends to read it over my close family. I am more comfortable "letting it all hang out" for friends.

What two pieces of advice would you give to a new blogger?

Think carefully about what you want regarding comments, and make sure your settings only allow what you are prepared for. If you allow "anyone" to comment, then be prepared for a negative comment. Decide if you are willing to open yourself up for that or not.
Here's one that I have a hard time following myself. Don't get all caught up in who is reading your blog, and how many hits your blog has had. Just blog for YOU, and try to not worry about the rest.

So there it is. A little bit about why I am here. Now I have a question for YOU! Why are you here? Leave me a comment and let me know what brought you to my Blog today. Ummm yeah, I know...I am totally still working on my last piece of advice. tee hee.....

Saturday, June 9, 2007

More Than A Month of Anxiety...and Two Days of BLISS!!!

I am not sure if I have mentioned it before, but.....I have a fear of spending money. tee hee....Okay so I have. You can go here and read my most recent levels of anxiety, and my month long struggle.

Memorial Day weekend, I found myself at the computer, staring at my shopping cart on Amazon.com. I had lots of things in that cart, and it was FULL! My anxiety level was at critical levels, and my horribly upset stomach was the proof. I sat there with my cursor hovering over the "place order now" button for what seemed like 3 days. At one point I cancelled out. Moments later I was back, and that button was calling my name. I resisted the urge to tuck my head between my knees and gasp for air. I finally hit the button. OH WAIT....I didn't hit THAT button, I hit the "apply for an Amazon.com credit card and receive $30 off this purchase" button. Now don't tell me you are surprised? tee hee

After filling out an ungodly amount of info, and promising my first born that it was factual to the best of my knowledge, I was approved. :) Now between you and me, we both know that I will not be actually using this Amazon.com credit card EVER again, but how could I resist $30 off? Seriously, that is a lot of money. I don't care if it just took my like 30 minutes off my life to sign up, it was worth it.

Anyhow,back to my shopping cart I went. Isn't it a lovely feature that they keep it all there in your cart, even if you happen to leave for a month? When you come back, it will all be sitting there in your cart waiting for you to buy it. Might be a little dusty, but it is there. How considerate of them. Maybe they know me, and are aware that I need all the help I can get to just get this purchase under my belt. Who knows? All I do know is that they surely made every effort to get me to finally click that scary little button. PLACE ORDER!!!!

I am not ashamed to admit that the instant I clicked that button, I think I vomited in my mouth a little bit. No less than 2 seconds later, I was pacing the floor and NEEDED to tell someone the crazy thing I had just done. I RAN to my Internet Baby Board, and hollered out my news. I needed everyone to tell me I did the right thing. Of course I could count on my friends. I am blessed like that. I also left like 4 long, and hardly coherent voice mails for various people in my life. For some reason everyone and there dog were out on the Holiday weekend. I forget that not everyone is a Homebody like me. Oh well, all I really needed to do was SAY the words, so the voice mails worked nicely. Each time I said those words....I felt the tiniest bit better.

It would not be an exaggeration to tell you that I was physically ill for about 3 days. I consumed Tums like they were going out of style, and I developed a nervous twitch. Okay, so maybe the twitch is an exaggeration, but I did revert to my old habit of itching my foot on the carpet. ARGH!!! However, after day three, an interesting thing happened....I started to get excited! I began to track my packages like a mad woman, and grew impatient. It was odd that as the anxiety over the purchase drifted away, it was quickly replaced with an "it can't get here soon enough" attitude.

I am proud to announce that as of LATE Wednesday afternoon, I am a thoroughly blissful owner of the Canon Digital Rebel XTi. I also purchased a 50mm 1.8 lens, and I literally in love with it. In two and a half days I have taken over 300 pictures and I am FREAKIN THRILLED!!! The anxiety is gone, the worry is gone....it is all good baby. I would love to say, that I will remember this feeling the next time I want to make a big purchase, but I know that the process just has to be followed. I can't get here, without being there. It is just how I roll. Like it or not!

I'd love to take a moment to share with you a sample of the pictures I have taken so far. I am literally two and a half months behind on editing pictures, so I am not sure when I'll get around to editing these first photos in full, but I chose out a few on my favorites, and edited them. I am not disappointed. LIFE IS GOOD!

This is the 5th picture I took literally 10 minutes after the UPS trucks dust settled.


Here are a few flower pictures I took that evening at my Parent's house.
Pansy


This Lily picture could possibly be my favorite Non-person picture I have ever taken.


This was taken this morning. Please ignore the Ketchup (she insisted on a hot dog for breakfast) on her face. Check out how sharp her eyes are. sigh...LOVE!


Here's a fun one I took later this morning that shows how fun selective focusing and depth of field can be.


I couldn't resist our Century old Barn. I need to get back there someday when I don't have a toddler to keep out of trouble.


Lastly, here is Sugar Bear on her slide this evening. Sigh....I might be starting to annoy her though. Tonight when she called me out to her play structure and I showed up with my camera, she said, "Oh NO! Not again!" tee hee



Now you have to promise that if you see these pictures again in a few months you won't groan, and say, "Oh No....NOT AGAIN!"

Friday, June 8, 2007

Four For Friday

WOW! Here we are again. This week was a bad bloggin week for me. I just couldn't find the time. It was my first official week home for summer. I guess I needed to get in the swing of things around here. Here's hoping I schedule my time better next week.

Today I'd like to share with you four reasons I LOVE PhotoShop! I have been using my PhotoShop Elements for about 2 years now. I am scared to admit that I probably spend 5 hours a week editing pictures,creating collages, and much more. When I first got into it, I focused most of my time and energy on the "creating" part of it. I was a collage and special effects loving fool. After many months, I got more and more into the actual photography side of things, and found PS to be an invaluable tool in editing my photos. Even though I tend to send more time on the "editing and enhancing" part now, I still sell Birth Announcements, holiday cards, and birthday invites that I create.

Here in no particular order are the top 4 reasons I just LOVE LOVE LOVE PhotoShop:

1. I love PhotoShop because I can make really cool creations. Here is a Birth Announcement I made. The shells and the fish are actual pictures of things in my home. The fish are glass figurines.



Here is one of my Holiday cards this year.


2. I love PhotoShop because I can take a normal picture, and turn it into a pretty decent portrait. This is one of the 2 year portraits I took of Sugar Bear recently.

Before:


After:



3. I love PhotoShop because I can totally fix those pictures when I have a bad photography moment and underexpose. Sometimes It is an accident...well usually it is, but in this case, I knew it was gong to be underexposed, but I wanted the shot anyhow. I am so glad I didn't miss this one.

Before:


After:



4. I love PhotoShop because I can play the miracle worker, and heal my daughters wounds. What toddler doesn't always have bruises, scraps, food or snot? It is so wonderful to be able to fix these things if I so desire. I don't usually fix the bruises and scrapes unless it is for a portrait. I want to acurately portray my daughter at that moment in her life.

Before:


After:


PhotoShop is addicting....it is amazing....it is my favorite hobby. I am often asked if I can help others learn. I can surely give the hints, tips and ideas, but it is your job to dedicate many, many hours to practice. It is a process, and I think you have to just go through it to understand where you want to go with it. Good Luck!

Sunday, June 3, 2007

When Good Modeling Goes Right

As we all know, children love to repeat what they hear and witness. It is all fun and games until it comes back to bite you in the fanny. I know we have all experienced some sort of incident when our child has said something they heard from you, your hubby, grandpa, grandma.....TV, ETC, and it wasn't something we necessarily wanted to hear coming from our dear, sweet child. It seems that foul language is everywhere, and I have to be on my toes. So far so good, but I know my time is coming. A sponge of a toddler is like a time bomb waiting to go off.

This particular post, however, is focusing on when this process goes RIGHT. When the things I say, and do have a positive impact on my child. The power of positive modeling amazes me. Maybe my child is just really susceptible to it, or maybe I am a modeling fool, but Sugar Bear has picked up the most sweet and wonderful habit. She currently happens to be the politest little toddler I know.

I hear the phrase, "Neek you Mama!" at least 20 times a day. Neek=Thank, if you were wondering. This simple sentence makes me smile every time. The amazing thing is that I have never really taught her to say this. I rarely ever remind her to say it. She always remembers to say, "please" also. Here is a sample conversation that we have several times a day:

Sugar Bear: "More crackers pease, Mama."
Me: "Sure honey! Here you go."
Sugar Bear: "Oh neek you Mama! Neek you!"
Me: "You're welcome Sugar Bear!"

Small conversations like this were enough to make a mama silly with love, but lately she has put the sweetest twist on it. She has discovered emotions, particularly happiness. So, she now says, "Neek you Mama. I so happy!" Oh how that blesses my soul. Last night, I interrupted her play to give her Potty Time Elmo that a friend handed down to us. I walked in the room and I said, "Sugar, I have a present for you!" My sweet girl jumped up with her hands clasped and said, "oh neek you Mama! Neek you very much! I so happy, I give you hug!" She came right for me, and gave me the biggest hug. Then she said, "my present pease mama!" (Elmo was a hit, in case you were wondering. WE may be using the potty before she is 12 after all.)
Earlier this evening I gave her a cookie. She smiled at me, and said, "Neek you Mama. I so happy inside with cookie!" Seriously, isn't that the cutest thing you have ever heard?

Not all toddlers pick up this politeness habit. In fact, not all older children are this polite. It is sort of a pet peeve of mine when children are demanding, and order people around. It is important to me that Sugar Bear doesn't take anything for granted, and that she always asks nicely for things. I don't however, recall ever being pushy about it. When she says it, I can tell it is coming from her heart, not because she has to say it. That is what makes it so special to me. I am not in denial that I have encouraged it though. In fact, everyday when I pick her up from her sitter, as we walk out the door, I encourage her to say, "Thank you Shannon! See you tomorrow!" It is old hat for her now, so I only have to remind her every now and again.

I feel so blessed with this amazing kid. She continues to overwhelm me with emotion. I have not found anything as heartwarming, as the phrase, "Neek you Mama. I so happy today!"

Neek you all for humoring this very smitten mama.

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Breaking Up Is Hard To Do!

Breaking up....."it's not YOU, it's ME!".....ugh......so hard to do! In my life I have broken many hearts. Well, as long as you count 4 hearts as many. In my opinion, hurting even one heart is more than I ever wanted, but could I help it if I was a freak magnet? tee hee Just kidding. All four hearts belonged to wonderful young men that were just unlucky enough to surrender their hearts to a young girl who didn't really know what she was doing. In my defense, I was 16 the last time I broke a heart. I think being that I am 32 now, I am doing really well.

This all leads us to my current situation. I am needing to muscle up all my nerve and break up.....break up with whom you may ask? Some of you might be a little confused or worried. Relax! It is my daughters babysitter. You read it right. I need to break up with Sugar Bear's sitter, Shannon. After much soul searching, and restless nights, as we all know I worry a bit, I have decided to enroll her in a home daycare/preschool in the fall when I go back to work. All this means that I have the unfortunate job of telling her sitter that we no longer need her services. UGH....I am really not good with such matters.

Shannon has been watching my Sugar since January of 06. She is a friend of a friend, who used to have an in-home daycare when she lived in a different city. She started watching Sugar Bear more out of a need to "help out" than to start up her business again. Leaving my daughter while I worked was incredibly difficult for me, and I have to say that I don't think I have always been very easy to please. I literally typed up a 3 page explanation of how I wanted my daughter to be taken care of. I had rules, and requests, and I was very clear about what was negotiable, and what wasn't. I think Shannon got her first real shock when on day 4 I brought her a small plastic bead in a baggie, and asked her if she recognized it. Yup...my daughter had pooped it out. I washed it off, and took it to the sitter the next morning. I figured what better way to make the point that she needed to be more vigilant about small items than to hand her that bead? It worked. From that day forward Sugar Bear's poops were shiny object free.

I am a carseat nazi, choke hazard freak, over protective mom. I am certain that Shannon had no idea what she got herself into for a mere $20 a day. I am quite sure that you couldn't pay me enough to put up with a mom like myself. However, all in all things haven't been that bad, but they haven't been ideal either. No one can raise my daughter they way I would. No one will say the things I say, nor do the exact things I do. Not one care provider will ever be me, but I strive to find a situation where the caregiver parallels my basic philosophy in parenting.

This leads us to the home day-care/preschool, that I am moving Sugar Bear to. I have been on the list for this place since I was 4 months pregnant. I am thrill that there is finally an opening for my girl. I am excited about the new possibilities. The new caregiver, Lorrene, is an amazing woman. I have known her for 4 years through a good friend of mine. I have met her several times, and interviewed her 2 times by phone, and twice in person. Each time, I marveled at how she modeled the very philosophy I follow. It was like I knew what she was going to say before she said it. I knew what she would do before she did it. My observations of her interactions with the children in her care were as close to my own style as I have seen. This makes me very, very happy! I am excited for the change this fall.

The only thing holding my excitement back is the need to break up with Shannon. Today was Sugar Bear's last day.....but Shannon did not know it. I know, I know....I should have told her, but I just couldn't. She knows that she isn't watching Sugar over the summer, but I haven't told her that we aren't coming back. I will admit there are a ton of reasons I haven't done it yet, but if I am totally honest, it is mostly because I am nervous. I hate the whole, "it isn't you...it's me" thing. The simple truth is that is it 90% her. She will know it because I am a horrible liar. I just don't want to hurt her feelings or burn a bridge. She is a wonderful person and lovely mother. We just have VERY different parenting styles. As my daughter ages, and is starting to exert more independence, I can not ignore our vastly different discipline techniques. I know in my heart none of this has to be said, but I worry that she will want to know why...why am I choosing a new provider. I is silly to think that I will break her heart. Actually I think she might be a tad relieved, but I just don't do confrontation well.

I could go on and on and on about this....I have been stressing over this for months. I set up a day at the park with her and her kids in 2 weeks. I plan on telling her then. I will do it! I will find the strength. I will let go of the worry. It will be fine. She'll be relieved. We'll laugh...and there will be no confrontation, right? Just tell me....why is breaking up so hard to do?

ETA: This post has caused much controversy. Please read the comments, as I have clarified some misunderstandings. I am sorry if this post presented me as an inconsiderate person. In fact, it is my sense of responsibility and kindheartedness that has made this so difficult for me. Please take the time to read my explanation in the comments section if this post has left a bad taste in your mouth. Thank you!

Friday, June 1, 2007

Four For Friday

How on earth could it possibly be Friday again? I feel like it was Friday yesterday. I suppose that is what happens when you have a 5 day weekend. :) Anyhow, here we are celebrating our second "Four For Friday." woo hoo I am on a roll. Heck I am just proud that I remembered to do it twice in a row.

Many of you know, yet some of you don't, that I like to create. I enjoy the process of creating in many different forms. One of these is sewing. To be honest, if you would have told me 5 years ago that I might be sewing outfits, not only for my child, but for other fortunate children whose parents happen to know me, I would have laughed out loud. Yet, here I am constantly sewing something new, and loving every minute of it.

Today I'd like to share with you four outfits that I made in the last year or so. It was really, really, really hard for me to pick just four, but I tried to show a variety. There will be four outfits, but more than four pictures, cause I am CRAZY like that.

This first one, I made last September for a sweet little gal named Emma. In these pictures, Miss Sugar is modeling it for us though. For this particular Halloween outfit, I embellished a white t-shirt and denim jeans with a fun spiderweb bandanna. I really loved this outfit and had a hard time giving it up!






This Second outfit just might be my all time favorite. I simply embellished a t-shirt with wide striped ribbon around the middle, and ruffled it around the bottom. I then took different colors of ribbon and made loops to go around the bottom of a pair of jeans cut to Capri length. So fun! What a hoot. People either loved it or hated it. What do you think?







The third outfit is one I made for Sugar Bear to wear during the fall season. I took a pair of overalls, and different fall themed fabric and designed her a very cute pair of decorative overalls. These remind me of a ruffly, feathery, turkey fanny. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE IT!





This last outfit was the source of much discussion. It was said by "some" that I might have over done it on this one, but you should have seen the heads turning the day she wore it. tee hee.....fun fun fun. I mean, what are holiday's for if not for dressing your poor child up in loud, garish outfits.
For this outfit I took overalls, St. Paddy's day fabric, elastic, and some green grosgrain ribbon, and did a little magic...TA DA! Instant St. Patrick's Day Princess.





Now don't tell me you aren't just a tiny bit jealous that I am not your mom? Seriously, I get giddy thinking about her next Holiday outfit. People just can't deny that Sugar Bear's mama is exuberant about making life FUN!

My Photography Page

MY CAMERA AND LENSES

-Canon T1i (purchased January 2010.)
-Canon Digital Rebel XTi (backup)
-Canon kit lens EFS 18-55 mm IS
-Canon kit lens EFS 18-55mm (use only with my Opteka fisheye thingy)
-Canon EF 28mm f/1.8
-Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II
-Canon EF 50mm F/1.4 (my newest lens)
-Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 USM Macro
-Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM

I have a HUGE interest in Photography. I have zero formal training, but I have done my fair share of self education. I am always thirsting for more knowledge about photography. There is ALWAYS more to learn. Currently, 97% of all my photos are based on natural light. I have never tried studio lighting, and have limited understanding of flash photography. It is a long term goal of mine to master some flash photography as well.

Links to my Photography Tutorials


1. When I Press The Shutter

2.
Stepping Into Their World

3.
Are You Too Centered?

4.
Sometimes Straight Is Too Common

5.
Are You and Your Camera Best friends...

6.
Would You Just Stand Still?



7.
Some discussion of flash



How I make my frames:

http://blissfullydomestic.com/photo-bliss/alternative-way-to-frame-a-photo-in-ps-elements/



How I make my watermark:

(coming soon)

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Recent Reads

For a list of books I read from 9/14/09 until 9/14/10 go HERE!


For a list of books I read from 9/14/10 until 9/14/11 go HERE!


For a list of books I read from 9/14/11 until 9/14/12 go HERE!

Books starting 9/14/12


“Monsters of Men” by Patrick Ness

“Gregor and The Prophecy of Bane” by Suzanne Collins



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