Friday, February 27, 2009

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resized to 600
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We're feeling it. End of the week. Sitter scheduled for 6. Lots of comments assuring me that I haven't been displaying ginormous distorted pictures TOO freely on my blogs (thankyou!). A weekend ahead without any throwing up or muscle spasms or saturdays spent in Urgent Care for narcotics. Or at least that's what I'm planning on. We're feeling good.... Happy Friday.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

PLEASE comment

So I just discovered from my friend Lizzie's sister that on her computer, (and she tried two different ones) a bunch of my pictures are showing up SUPER pixelated. (Is that a word? you know what I mean.) We think the problem is when I manually change the size in my html since the LARGE in Flickr is too big but the medium is too small. I feel like I'm living in a Paula Abdul song. ... "Two steps forward I take two steps back"... every new thing I learn with photography introduces like ten more things I DON'T know. It's overwhelming.

So do me a favor will you? If you peek at my blog sometimes, or lots of times, or just today, will you just leave a quick comment saying --- "yup, super crazy pixels... I was afraid to tell you", or "I wondered if you thought that looked good, phew--- fix it!" or "nope it looks just fine on mine."

Or something all your own and straight from the heart is fine too. :)

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Today was a good day.

The day started with a call from Miss Shell letting us know preschool was cancelled since her son was sick.


I dread those calls. Those three mornings a week are good for all of us. :) So we regroup. And make our new plan for the day. Nothing special. But I ended up:

- getting to the gym for the first time since my neck fired up,
-getting Sophia down for a successful nap (during Mila's to boot) which is irregular these days,
-washing AND blow drying my hair,
-taking Sophia to a productive session of speech therapy,
-getting some killer deals on produce at Henry's,
-spending some quality time at Lizzie's in the afternoon,
-and after putting Mila down for bed tonight with her doggy and her baby and her two bears without a single peep but her sweet version of "ni-night"....
- I came downstairs to find Ross teaching Sophia the Robot to Rianna.

It's the little things, you know?

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Trying out a couple of nearby spots:

sophia's field colllage uncropped

ps DSC_0145 I'm constantly complaining to Ross about where we live. It's not conducive to beautiful pictures. Or at least not the kind I want. We don't have fields full of wheat or corn or dandelions. We don't have groves of trees that make beautiful messes in the fall. We don't have the beach, or the snow, ANYthing in bloom really besides bougainvillea, or much of nature in general. We aren't a big city and so don't have awesome urban backdrops, but we're not a small town with a quaint, run-down 'main street' with brick buildings and peeling paint. We are the desert. We have dirt, and palm trees, lots of golf courses and man-made stuff. We have some awesome modern architecture in Palm Springs, but it doesn't really do ME any good. So this was my attempt at a field in the desert. It's right down the street from my house, mostly, it's a patch of weeds surrounded by dirt. I shouldn't have told you... could you tell?

I feel like I'm getting carried away with posting pictures on my blog. So much that I'm not finding the time to write. And I don't always keep up on the normal stuff (like the stuff that happens at night time when it's too dark to take pretty pictures). I started a private photo-blog a while back that I never really updated and I think I'm going to un-private it, and start keeping most of my photos over there, because lets face it, it's really hard for me to discriminate and these posts can get pretty long. So this was my attempt at "just a few". There's more from this "shoot" on MyPhotoBlog.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

At 15 months:

original my edit vbw


Eating: not everything imaginable like her sister was- she's more picky- or maybe I've been more lazy and less proactive. She likes delicious food. Like MY food, yummy sandwiches with bacon and avocado and the works. She likes cheesy, salty, tasty foods. She's not as happy with chopped up veggies and cold cheese and toast like Sophia was. I officially stopped nursing her this past month and she's actually doing the Whole Milk thing. Sophia never did, so it's kind of weird to me, but wonderful. It's so easy to heat up a cup of milk instead of search for food sometimes. If only I weren't so terrified of all the hormones... organic milk gets expensive!

Walking: FINALLY--- I think I forgot to officially blog it, but it finally happened two or three weeks ago. And THANK goodness. I don't care if they get in to more, life is SO much better with her on her two feet. She's happier, the girls play better (although Sophia also picks on her more now) and she's not covered in filth and staining the knees of her pants all the time. Phew!

Talking: She's totally talking! And it's amazing to me. Sophia's been a little delayed in her speech so I don't think she was saying anything at this age. I've always wondered when people said their babies were talking... weather or not they were actually saying words with any meaning behind them... or just putting sounds together. Now I get it. With definite meaning, Mila's saying: "mom", "dad", "shoe" (she wants them on anytime she sees them, of course, like they always do), "dog" (her FAVORITE animal and stuffed friend she sleeps with) "Ont down" (I want down), "Es Do" (Let's go), "Aw gone" .... and that's all I can think of. I'm sure there's more. She's brilliant. ;)

What else... She folds her arms and babbles like she's saying a prayer. She scrunches her nose up in that fabulously hammy smile. She loves to be anywhere near her sister, playing outside, and dances any time there's music on. She LOVES when her daddy gets home. And the "running" and climbing on his knee is a whole lot better now that she's walking.

15 months is a gooooood age. I'm just soakin' it up before the twos....

p.s. feeling lots better. I've got some good friends. thx.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Boo hoo.

I need drugs. Serious drugs. More so than I've ever felt, after my c-sections or anything. I've pinched a nerve or pulled a muscle or I've got a muscle spasm or a handful of knives lodged in my neck and shoulder waiting to STAB my nervous system with the slightest movement.

One of the above at least. I don't know what to do, so I'm blogging. I can't get comfortable, DEFINITELY can't get comfortable lying down, but can't hustle around the house cleaning and getting ready, I'm too slow- and it's too painful. So I'm sitting at the computer where I can try and distract myself from the pain. Am I complaining enough? Because I need to get it out of my system or I might drive Ross mad, because it's all I can think about. It's depressing really, because I can't even look forward to when he gets home or when the girls go to bed as reprieve because I CAN'T get comfortable. Any way I rest my head just feels WORSE when I later need to lift my head so I can't bare the thought. Sleep is horrible, wake is horrible... What do I do?!!!!

It started a couple of mornings ago. Well maybe it started 27 years ago when I was born with a slightly crooked spine. I know. The whole world has scoliosis... or maybe not at all, according to that Dr. Crazy I saw, all this "sitting around all day" we do with our kids just makes us FEEL like we do. (Remember him?) But whatever is wrong with my back it's to stay. There's always something up with it. But this is the most severe by far. Hopefully it will be short lived, but boy is it inconvenient. This is when the "no sick days" clause of my job really sucks. I've got two slave-drivers for employers.

The weekend at my mom's was SO fun, until I woke up two mornings ago with this. Then yesterday morning it was exponentially worse, but she loaded the car for me and kissed me goodbye and I got on the road with a permanent grimace on my face, hoping I wouldn't really need any range of motion in my neck to drive. Blind spots, blind shmots. I made an appointment for the chiropractor from the car, pulled into town, traded kids with Ross, gave him the sorry-est, lamest kiss (the tiniest bit of pressure on my head sends a tsunami of pain through my neck )after not seeing him for like 6 days!... and went and got a massage. (My chiropractor offers 50 min massages for just your copay-- amazing right? ) It felt great. Awful but GREAT. Until I had to move again and then it was back, maybe even worse. Are you done with this debbie -downer story... wait it gets worse.

So after an awful night, we get in bed, Ross tries to help lower me in and lift my head and get it situated on a rolled up towel for neck support but it's all awful and depressing and so painful and THEN Mila starts screaming. We wait and wait but she won't stop so Ross finally goes in and she's THROWN up all over everything and ALL over herself. Oh goodness. Not tonight. Well THAT is a two person job. So Ross helps me in the bathtub so I can comfort her while I clean her up, and he's off to clean-up duty.

And when the tub's nice and full and she's nice and clean and I'm all horrible and pinched... she starts throwing up again --- in the bath we're sitting in! So now we have to freeze while we wait for it to drain and repeat.... you get it. Can you tell I've got too much time right now to tell this story since I can't do anything else? Thanks for distracting me.

So, you know, feel all sorts of sorry for me will ya? Maybe the comments will distract me from the pain.

I'm kidding, not actually asking for comments.

Maybe like a package of my favorite goodies.

Or some vicodin?

Monday, February 16, 2009

Baby Ivy 10 1/2 weeks

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Remember this one? She was just days old when I saw her first at Melisa's house and took some photos. She's good and healthy now, second chin and all. You can't totally see it in these pictures but trust me. She reminds me of my girls and I love it. We got to see her and a bunch of the other cousins on Sunday for a birthday party for Papa. Doesn't she make you just a teeny bit baby hungry?

And doesn't she make you wish GAP sold that one piece in grown up sizes?

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentines Day!

So me and the girls are at my parent's house this weekend while Ross is on his annual "mancation." I want to pretend that I'm a really cool wife and the fact that it happened to get planned over Valentine's weekend didn't ruffle even one of my feathers. But it turns out while most people think Valentine's Day is a silly, made-up, hallmark holiday, I kind of like it. I like all the cheesy diamond commercials and the special 'love day' Blue's Clues episodes. But we'll just brush over that part and skip to the end where now that I'm here with my parents' help, snuggled in their warm couch, both girls asleep, and Sweet Home Alabama playing in the background (she just punched out Murphy Brown, so the best part is coming), everything's JUST fine. I miss him a bit, what with all the romantic comedies floating around the DVR but being back 'home' sure takes the sting out of it. Whether you're into the holiday or not, Happy Valentine's Day!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The babe

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This little guy was my first go at the "under two week baby" thing. I thought for sure if I got one that young, they'd curl up and be all sleepy for me and my pictures would look just like the websites I stalk. ;) Not so much. Babies are HARD! Especially after taking pictures of teenage girls that do exactly what I say. :) Cohen just wouldn't listen to me. Apparantly that's a side-effect to the "under two week baby" thing. This thirty second stint on the paper gave me a couple that were close to what I wanted. I think the one above is my favorite. But since I have NOT mastered the art of being a bit more selective... and "less is more" etc.... here's a whole bunch more of this gorgeous baby boy. Meet Cohen.

cohen collage
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PS DSC_0246 VH3
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little  collage
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another collage

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

TV or not TV

We always wonder when that day will come that we decide to cut it for the the kids' sake.... And ours. It really is a matter of when. Or it should be at least.

We are self-proclaimed TV addicts. We've gotten a little bit better out of necessity. We just don't have as much time as we used to. I remember when I was pregnant with Sophia and working, I would look forward all day to meeting Ross at home for some dinner, and some shows. It was a good life. Sophia was due in September, when all the new shows start, and I remember seeing the dates for the premiers and thinking.... "goodbye TV. It's a new phase of life. We won't have time for you any time soon." Like this one little precious baby was going to take up every minute of our life. I had no idea how EASY she'd be (back then.) And we quickly fell right back into the same routine. With her bed-time at like 6:30, she wasn't exactly interfering with all of those new premiers. So we got ourselves a whole fresh batch. Sheesh.

Now that Sophia's getting older, and I still nap her most days, she's harder to put down at night... bed-time's around 8 which becomes 9 before we know it, and between Ross' new calling (he just got called as our ward's executive secretary), his new piano to practice, and my playing with photos, looking at photo sites, and blogging we can find ourselves finally plopping on the couch to watch a show at like 10. But that's the problem, we definitely still plop. NEVER, do we look at the clock and think, bedtime. We've created this pattern, and it's like we still expect a couple of shows at least--- regardless of the start time. This explains our ever-later (usually around midnight) bedtime. And mix that with my three-year-old's decision to join us in bed every night around 3 and kick and snuggle ONLY me--- and this might explain my new obsession with the age showing in my face and the whites of my eyes always being red. I dream of the day where I might feel totally rested... and I blame it on the kids like is totally socially acceptable--- when really, it's the shows. It's 24 (but seriously, who chooses sleep over a show that good), American Idol, Greys (gasp! I know I know, I should have dropped it when it went lesbian... and sometimes we're on the verge... but I told you, ADDICTS), House, Biggest Loser (2 hours is way too long, but it's always on the DVR waiting- but who doesn't LOVE a makeover story), The Bachelor, and Lost (even if it's a total love-hate thing for me, and it's gone way too sci-fi so that anything can happen which means I don't really care WHAT happens. You get it.) Anyway. Lots of shows.

Oh yeah and the one everyone gasps over the most (desperate housewives)

And I'm always tired.

And they're not all good for our spiritual growth I'm sure.

And they're definitely not all shows I want my kids to know I watch when they get it.

So some day... it's got to go.

Maybe after this season...

Hmmm.... or maybe after SYTYCD in the summer.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Our gorgeous "young women"

I'm getting a little carried away. I know this goes through waves of being a little more photo-blog, a little less normal blog. I'm definitely in a photo blog phase. You want to know why? I got Photoshop CS4... through some killer deal thanks to Lizzie's sister, so it was dirt cheap. Once I finally had the real photoshop I had to try some actions I'd been eyeing online that I figured would of course magically turn my photos into masterpieces like the photographer's who sold the actions. Anyway. Not quite as easy as I'd hoped. Definitely in an experimenting phase... so bear with me while I post far too many pictures... pictures that could look a little wonky--- (especially if I don't ever get around to calibrating my monitor) as I figure out how much is too much.

It also just so happened that I got to take some photos for the Young Women in our ward, AND some of a brand new babe this past weekend. So I had a lot to play with. Let's start with the girls.

Can I tell you that I NEVER thought I'd feel the affects of age in my 20's! But lately I've just had a few little moments here and there where I realize we're not the youngest family in the ward anymore, Ross isn't the youngest guy at work, and you know... not that young girl at the gym I may have once been ;), but this was one more confirmation. Shooting pictures of these girls GORGEOUS youthful faces, their smooth, healthy skin and their bright, reflective eyes. I even LOVED their braces!

Really though, how gorgeous are these girls?

jackie collage 2
madi collage 2
sierra collage
Tati collage
Reagan collage
ROny collagelauren collagemary collage

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Meet just a few of Sophia's friends:

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So yeah, maybe I searched for a title to imply I had a reason for posting these besides experimenting with my new found collage skills. Ha. Probably doesn't seem like that big of a deal but I feel like a whole new world of photo posts has been opened up to me. (Anyone who's interested, you just make it in PS first and save it as a JPEG, then upload. Easy as 123. It only took me like 2 years of seeing it on other blogs to figure it out.) And parents that I didn't warn: I should just say, if you leave your kids at my house and the sun is near setting, and they're playing outside, and they're stinkin' cute... I can't promise to keep my camera out of their face or their faces off my blog. Thanks. :)

Monday, February 02, 2009

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I still can't believe I haven't officially blogged about the backyard. When we moved in we had DIRT. A whole lot of dirt. And just before the holidays we finally finished putting in a stamped concrete patio, grass, a built-in sandbox, and some plants and trees. It's heaven right now... to actually be able to leave the door open for the kids to run in and out, actually getting good, relatively sand-free, fresh air. I have 'before' pictures ... but am STILL going to save that for another day. For now, this is just an ode to the backyard. A "what did I ever do before and what on earth will I do come summer when it's too sweltering to go outside again?" ode.

-I'm grateful for my grass.
-I'm grateful for my path along the side of my house (where dirt was in our old house and where Sophia would of course want to play because of it, and I'd have to remember to put shoes on to take the trash out.. sheesh),
-I'm grateful for the sandbox that while it makes them a little dirty, offers ONE more option when they tire of the tramp (and unlimited food for Mila. Yes she still eats the dirt at times.)
-I'm SOOOO grateful that having a south-facing house was such a priority as it means I have FULL shade in my backyard pretty much all day, which means our backyard is perfect while my front yard is already too hot for me and it's what... BARELY February? Where do I live?????

Winters sure are nice here. So I guess I'm grateful for where I live... for now.