Thursday, July 30, 2009

It's been nice knowing y'all....

Did I mention that my brother's getting married next week? Yeah. I'll see y'all again after that. in the meantime, I'll try to throw a few pics up here every so often so I don't lose all my readership.

See you later, alligators!


(ten points to the first person who answers that correctly ;) )

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Tot Talk Tuesday: Video Edition




It's that time of the week again! And here I am barely getting my post in before bed again :)

Pretty much everything Judah says these days is super cute, so here's a mini-video interview from about two weeks ago, for you viewing pleasure!

I love how he mixes up "popsicle" and "milkshake" and it comes out "motorsicle"

"I haa a moh-sicle on muh face"

And the way he's throwing the word "actually" into all his sentences these days;

"What kind of popsicle did you have, Judah?"

(and the way he kinda shakes his head sideways as he says...)

"Aksheellly pink"



Thanks again to Niecey for hosting!!

Monday, July 27, 2009

It's a beautiful afternoon, why am I so restless and stir-crazy?

I'll tell you why.

Babies.

Yep. There are two new ones in our church (by new I mean less than a week old) and at least one more on the way. And let me tell you, they are precious. So, so precious. And it's doing strange and mysterious things to my insides, people. It's baaad.

Here's the crazy thing. When I stop and think about having more children-- actually raising them, educating them, feeding them, training and disciplining them, I am quite content with the two that the Lord has given me. We've been so blessed. One boy, one girl-- we've gotten to experience the beautiful differences between the genders. We have two children whose personalities could hardly be more different-- that's been so amazing to watch. They are healthy, intelligent, (mostly) obedient, curious and joyful children. What more could we ask for?

But, oh! the babies....

*sigh*

I'm going to blame it on my past. For five years I was blissfully immersed in the world of pregnant women, birth and babies. On a weekly basis I was blessed and privileged to participate in the emergence of a human soul into the world. It is a high like no other, my friends. To stand with a woman in that hour is an honor. To struggle along beside her in the greatest test of her physical and mental endurance that she will ever face, and perhaps in some small measure to ease her task. To put my hands on that tiny head and guide it out into the world... It makes me tear up, just thinking about it. The atmosphere of intimacy, the palpable excitement and anticipation-- to stand on the edges of that bubble, looking in on the miracle happening again, right in front of my eyes, as it has time and again ever since Eve gave birth to Cain-- well, words fail me.

Can you understand why I feel the way I do about these stories of deception and selfish motives and abuse of power? And words do fail me. I have started and abandoned at least three posts about the "Pit to distress" fiasco we were all talking about a week or so ago. I just cannot find a way to express the outrage, the pain and frustration I feel when I read about women whose trust is being betrayed during one of the most vulnerable and impressionable times in their lives. A time when they should be gently surrounded in a bubble of intimacy, excitement and anticipation. When their Caregivers--people whom they trust to care for them-- should be standing watchfully outside that bubble, waiting, enjoying from a distance and supporting with their quiet patience. Not bossing, barking, pressuring, obscuring, manipulating, threatening and cutting their feet out from under them. Who are these people? Why are they doing this? How can they violate these women in this way??

And so, I am restless and stir-crazy. Frustrated words bubble up from deep inside and spill out foaming onto my monitor, making no sense--no logical arguments, just sadness. Just regret. Helplessness.


Saturday, July 25, 2009

Apparently boys need a lot of protein

Ever since Judah gave up his morning nap (shortly after turning one) he has a melt down almost every morning between 9:30 and 10:00. It's ridiculously predictable. I'll be going along with my morning routine and Judah will be playing quietly and then all of a sudden, all hell breaks loose! There are tears, tantrums and whining. Oh! the whining! What to do?

And then I read Suzanne's post about diet and nutrition for boys-- specifically about a growing boy's protein needs-- and it began to dawn on me that perhaps Judah was simply not getting enough protein for breakfast in the morning. Our normal breakfast consists of yogurt (plain, low-fat, with a little honey) and fruit. Fairly low protein compared with the levels she was recommending.

So we began to experiment! The first few days Judah got an egg or other protein source as soon as I started to notice the crankiness. It worked! Amazing. The whining and tantrums would subside back into normal behavior. But that didn't necessarily mean it was about protein in particular. Perhaps he was just needing a mid-morning snack.

Next step was to see if we could forestall the meltdown completely by simply adding protein to his normal breakfast. J fixed him three scrambled eggs for breakfast. He ate them all. No mid-morning snack, no meltdown. Hmm. Persuasive.

But the high school scientist in me wanted more proof. Next day we went with the traditional yogurt and fruit. Meltdown began promptly at 10:00. I force-fed him goldfish and cheezits for 45 minutes, attempted to distract him, and then tried to feed him lunch a little early-- which he emphatically refused, demanding to be put to bed. For a nap. Forty-five minutes early. That is unheard of.

That was yesterday.

Today he ate two pancakes and four scrambled eggs for breakfast. No meltdown. Ate a small lunch (beans, carrots, applesauce) and went straight to sleep, no fussing, no whining. He has now been sleeping for two and a half hours.

I am a believer. We will need to buy some chickens.



Friday, July 24, 2009

Trying Something New

I've had my eye on these great meme over at Conversion Diary for quite some time. It seems like a great way to squeeze in a quick "catch up" post right before the weekend. And since Jen promises that there's "something up" this week, I decided it would be a good week to go ahead and take the plunge. So here we go! My first Seven Quick Takes Friday!

1) The day I finally start to get caught up on the yardwork, it begins to pour (and I mean really pour, folks) riiiiight as the kids go down for nap. Effectually ending whatever productivity potential I had up to that point.

2) To finalize any doubts about our mystery trip, yes! we are flying out to Fort Lewis to drive S and V home. That's right, ladies and gents, I have finally taken complete and utter leave of my sense and participated in-- nay, even initiated!-- the planning of a cross-country road trip with two toddlers, a six-year-old and NO HUSBANDS!!! But it'll be fun, right? Of course right!

3) I am wiiide open for any advice about surviving said trip with two toddlers, a six-year-old and no husbands. And did I mention we'll be hauling a U-Haul trailer behind us the whole way? And attempting to camp nightly? Possibly at least once or twice in Yellowstone National Park? Where there are BEARS???

4) In leiu of flowers, please direct your expressions of sympathy towards the support of a worthy cause...

5) Thanks to a blogging mom of many boys, I may have solved a parenting problem that has plagued me for nearly a year. I feel fairly confident to say that we have solved the mystery of Judah's morning meltdowns! It's too long a story for this post, so I'll be posting the saga tomorrow morning, bright and early. Stay tuned!

6) Have I mentioned that my brother is getting married to this lovely woman in two and a half weeks? Whoo-eeee! We are busy around here :)

7) It stopped raining! Hooray! Now we can all go out and do stuff :) Although I should probably take a shower first...

That was fun! You want to try? Go sign up and read everyone else's Seven Quick Takes!


Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Tot Talk Tuesday



It's that time again! Head over to Niecey's blog to find more stories of kids saying the darndest things :) including one veeery choice poopy story!



While reading Dr Seuss's ABCs to Judah this week we got hung up on this page:

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Specifically on this part:

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Mommy, whatsa matter ah heeem??

I think he's scratching, he's itchy

No....... He's maaaad.

No honey, he's not mad, he's just itchy.

No! He's mad!

Why is he mad?

*long pause*

'Cause, cause....the hungeee howus eated his haaair!

*pause*

"Siyyeee howus" (silly horse)


See? That hay does look exactly like Ichabod's hair. The kid is a genius!


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Monday, July 20, 2009

I Heart Faces: Feet




So this was a challenge for me this week. Feet are not something I EVER photograph. And, quite frankly, no one in my family has really great feet. The feet in both my family and J's are known rather for their size than their beauty or delicacy. But, Sofi obliged me, and hopefully the rose doesn't provide too great a contrast to her scruffy, 6-year-old bare feet :) Don't forget to click on the photo to see the whole thing. I post them pretty big and blogger cuts it off on the side. I need to figure out what size fits better...

I love constructive criticism and suggestions, please feel free to add your comments. I also love new readers and followers! If you follow me, I'll follow you :)

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Check out all the other pretty feet at I Heart Faces today!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

The Die is Cast, the Deed is Done

Ok, I can't resist! Ten points to the first person (not related to me, or Laurie) who can figure out what I'm announcing in this post!

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Saturday, July 18, 2009

Another reason I like this town

What says summer better than this??




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Hope you're having as good a summer as we are!!!



Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Since the dawn of time...

Conversation with a friend recently, after the birth of her second child (remind me never to mess with a nursing woman again):

HER: Ok, we got a WAY RAWER (is that a word) deal in the fall, then men did. I mean, toil the earth?? WHAT THE HELL!!!!???? I like to toil the earth. I'd like to toil and trade him for the hematoma, hernia, hemorrhoids, nursing, let down, cramping uterus etc.

ME: I am SOOO putting that on my blog


HER: ok..... when you do, can you spell that damn word right
(hemorrhoid), and not reference me!



Sure, honey, sure. Whatever makes you happy :)


Monday, July 13, 2009

I Heart Faces: Sports in Action



Well, as many of you know, we aren't really a Sports family, so I'm stretching this week's theme a bit here. This entry is of Sofi and Granddad. I'm calling the sport "Riding on Granddad". We'll see how that plays with the judges :)

I've been having lots of fun experimenting with slow exposure action shots to get that cool swirly-around-a-central image look. I haven't refined it yet, but every once in a while I get a pretty good shot. Anyone have hints for that? With this one I lassoed her face and sharpened it up a bit and then ran a CoffeeShop action. Can't remember what it's called atm.... I love constructive criticism, so lay it on me!

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"Be sure to head on over to www.iheartfaces.com to check out all of the beautiful face entries this week!"


Sunday, July 12, 2009

This I love!



Discovered on the playlist of a new fav blog, as I mentioned here. Proving that playlists may not be ALL bad. Not quite. Music like this makes me miss Hos, Omi and Sus almost unbearably... Ah Storysingers... Those were the heydays!

On the same blog I also discovered another artist new to me, Lenka-- an Aussie musician!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Constructive Feedback Friday




Here's a shot I got by pure luck several months ago of Judah doing his Joey Tribioni impression (click on the picture to see the whole shot--I think blogger's cutting some of the right side off):

"Hey there, whatchOO doin'?"
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But, like many of my lucky expression captures, it's just not the greatest composition--to directly centered, chopped off the top of his head, weird background, skin tones are a bit odd and there's a general dullness to the coloring. Especially the eyes.

Here's the best I could come up with at the time for editing:

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I have a Canon PowerShot S3, and was still just using the Auto mode at the time... I edited in Picasa. Now that I have Photoshop, I've gotten something a wee bit better. But there's still a long way to go.. Any ideas?

(still uploading recent edit...)

Here's one edit I tried with a CoffeeShop Action Called Color Pop.
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And here's another version with the same action, different combonation of options:

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What I still don't like is the way the background is different on the two sides of his face. It looks (to me, anyways) a bit like a hole behind his right ear....

To the dear woman who lent me her daughter for the afternoon yesterday

I am so sorry about the bright red and blue paint on the lovely white shirt. And the lovely face. And the beautiful blond curls. And the bottoms of her feet. I'm also sorry about the sugar high. I fully admit that cokes, jelly beans and six spoonfuls of sugar in her tea is not the greatest nutrition for a child of six. I sometimes find it very hard to say no to other people's children.

She is a joy. I hope we can repeat the process often. Perhaps without the paint, coke, jelly beans and diabetic-coma tea.

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pssst...more on the Pit thing a little later.