Sunday, November 30, 2008

124 triteness is underrated

WOW! Just one more month to go until we hit another year! How in the world does time move so quickly?? You would think I would have had a better way to judge the passing of time with a tiny helpless baby turning into a destructive mobile little man, but I honestly have no idea where it all went. One day he was unable to roll over and now he can run! This year we have grown a little person, healed broken bones, and managed to stay afloat. Next year, hmmm ... not sure what we have headed our way, but I am hoping the majority of it will be fun.
Sorry, just had to make that trite little observation about "time flying" and such. It really hit me today when I looked at the calendar. That, and when Mom called from Toys'R'Us doing Christmas shopping. I know, I know, it is just around the corner. I have never been one to jump the gun. I am perfectly okay with waiting until the last minute. We are not going to this year though, but mainly because we are going to make an actual list of what to get the kids, and get it. We won't be adding to it all along, ending up spending too much and getting too much. Katie's room already looks like Toy'R'Us exploded in it, and Connor is completely set up for a while with toys. Katie had a tendency to ask for boy toys when she had already gotten all the girl stuff she wanted. Heck, we potty-trained her by rewarding her with Matchbox cars. One of the big gifts she wanted a few Christmases back was a tool bench. Connor needs stuff to open, but at some point you just have to stop adding to the stuff??!!
I read the other day that there was a letter writing campaign to toy companies, asking them to gear their advertisements toward the parents instead of the kids. Parents writing and asking the toy companies to stop tempting their kids, making them beg for toys the parents can't afford. I am in that same boat. I can't buy everything she wants. HECK SHE WANTS EVERYTHING SHE SEES ON TELEVISION!! But seriously, the toy companies are just receiving the affirmation that their ad money is working. Sure, as a favor to the consumer they are going to stop appealing to the kids. It is a great idea, but it ain't gonna happen! They might take the advice of also running ads that explain in tiny little words to the parents why their toy is better than the competitors, but isn't that what you read reviews for??!! First rule of advertising, don't give free time to the competition. Even mentioning their name to say you are better than them is publicity. Katie is spoiled. She has received way more junk than she ever should have. But that is our fault. We did not say no, and now she has this idea that she should get whatever her little heart desires. I can't blame the toy companies for it. Until we can totally remove commercials from our kids tv viewing then we have to deal with it.
I just wish kids got excited over clothes!! I have seen so many cute things lately. If you have never heard of Boden, you need to look over their website ... request a catalog, they are yummy!! They have adult clothes and kid clothes. They have adorable ADORABLE girls clothes. I especially love their skirts. They just make you want to spin around and dance! And the cutest tights! Katie even loved this one!! And they even have some cute boy clothes. I LOVE this t-shirt! The women's clothing is gorgeous, and I wish I had the money to buy it all .. or any of it! But seriously, request a catalog. You can also send catalogs to other people, maybe a grandparent :)
I have spent a lot of time the past several days surfing around the computer. Okay, I have not strayed too far from my normal haunts, but even at those I found some new and beautiful content. At Shutter Sisters they are selling a gorgeous necklace. It is based on an old flashbulb. I can't say that I really need it. I have worn the same necklace almost non-stop for the past 5.5 years. I would feel naked without my James Avery, Mother's Love necklace. But, if I had to ever change it out, this is what would follow. Also, in a link off Shutter Sisters I found a beautiful blog. SweetSalty by Kate Inglis. If you have ever lost a baby I would highly recommend you stop by and read her heartfelt beautiful words, she also takes gorgeous pictures. She expresses things I never could.
Mostly I have been enjoying watching the kiddos. (Ignore the horrible lighting in all pictures!!)Connor adores Katie, and I know I have said that before ... but I think he has become even more smitten with his big sister. Well, that and he has discovered how to give hugs. He will toddle over to her and wrap his arms around her head if she is sitting in the floor. And his voice saying "Katie" is the absolute sweetest thing I have ever heard! It comes out more like "Kay-ee" but in this tone of adoration. They interact so well with each other. If I could just stop Katie from getting too effusive in her play time. She gets carried away and forgets that he is still a baby. She will run up to him (and I mean RUN) and sometimes he gets so tickled that he flops over, sometimes smacking into walls or furniture. In the tub tonight they were splashing by smacking their hands on the water, and then Katie picked up two handfuls of water and threw it in his face. Sure, there was enough water hitting him already, but she does not understand the difference between the "splash" of water and the deluge of water. Mainly she is a wonderful and loving sister. Nothing she does can get him upset for too long. He thinks it is the greatest thing ever, everything she does. He loved the water in his face, he enjoys her pushing on his tummy when she tickles him, and he doesn't even mind smacking into a wall every now and again as long as she is paying attention to him. I have just had some wonderful, perfectly contented moments lately watching them. I hope I can always remember the way they are now. Even with Connor learning to feed himself!! He did much better with the bites of chicken and cooked carrots, but he is REALLY good at chocolate chip cookies!
I have especially had those moments with Katie where I want to snatch them up and keep them safe. Laying in bed reading bedtime stories, or her crawling in my lap for a snuggle. All the times she says "I love you Mommy!" Those moments locked up safe and tight for when she is a teenager. I am in mortal fear that she will be a horrible teenager, like I was. I AM SO SORRY MOM!! I know it is only fair that I get repayed in kind, but I hope so much that we can keep as much of this closeness as possible!! I think she also might turn into a little shutterbug. Tonight while Connor was eating I asked her to grab my camera. She came back with the strap looped around her neck, and she was the one that took pictures of her brother. I was SO proud. My little photog!!
Happy December all!! Try not too stress too much!!

Friday, November 28, 2008

123 Thankful

I had a lot to be thankful for this Thanksgiving. Near the top of my list was the fact that I was not actually throwing up on Thanksgiving. Our trip to Atlanta was abruptly cancelled when the stomach bug hit me at 3am on Wednesday morning. That would be after I packed all our bags, cleared out the van, and got everything ready to go ... About 5 hours before we were supposed to jump in the car and drive. Sure, I guess I should just be thankful that it did not hit me while I was enroute to Atlanta with two kiddos in the car, but I would have preferred if it could have bypassed me altogether. Katie was absolutely crushed. She cried for quite a while after waking up when we told her. I wanted to cry too, but I am pretty sure that the sobbing would have sent me running for the toilet. I miss my MOMMY!! I want to see her and my brothers and my SILs and my nieces and nephew and various and sundry friends!! I did not want to be stuck in my bed, stomach cramping, insides churning. I wanted to drive 6 hours with two kids screaming. I wanted to be with my family for Thanksgiving. I wanted my mom to see Connor walking, see his two teeth firsthand, and hear his sweet little voice without it being through the phone. I wanted Katie to be able to spend time with her Grammy (though she has started calling her Grandma). I could not wait to see Katie with her cousins, and especially to see Connor and Milly together! Oh, I can just imagine the hilarity that would have insued. Connor would yank Milly's hair, she would scream, they would fall all over each other. I am sure it would have been priceless! Not to mention how long it has been since I have been junking with my Mom! Who wants to go to Walmart on Black Friday when you have a Goodwill or Last Chance Thrift Store or My Favorite Place (also known as Bob's)??!! The junk places around here just have, well ... JUNK! In Atlanta they have treasure! So, in other words ... I wanted to be in Atlanta for Thanksgiving.
We did, however, get to spend Thanksgiving with Chip! He had to work so he was not going to be able to go Atlanta with us, so he was a little bit happy I ended up puking. He was not looking forward to spending the weekend without us. He was a huge help on Wednesday when I was anchored to the bed. I don't know what I would have done without him. There was no way I could have taken care of myself and the kiddos. And he even went out on Thursday and picked us up a Thanksgiving dinner from Cracker Barrel. Sure, it is not our traditional Thanksgiving fair, but this year it was the best we could do. I was definitely not up to cooking a full holiday meal, considering there was no way I could eat it!
I am thankful for my family. My hubby, annoying as he can be sometimes (I am sure he feels the same about me). My wonderful daughter, Katie, who always manages to cheer me up - like writing me a prescription for Gatorade when I was sick. My little man, Connor, for being the sweetest chunk of chubby goodness ever made! My Mom, for being the best Ma-Pa a girl could ever hope to have! My brothers, for being as weird as myself. My Sisters-in-Law for putting up with us even though they don't really have to (that goes for Chip's sisters, too). My nieces and nephews for being the cutest little things ever made.
I am thankful for my -relative- health. Sure, the stomach virus was ill-timed, but overall I can't complain about too much. I am thankful for Katie's excellent diabetes management! Our first year of being "mono-genic" was spectacular! Overall we have stayed pretty healthy. Now if we can keep Katie out of the ER next year ...
I am thankful for finding friends nearby. I have spent a long time without "real friends". I had friends at work, and then when you stopped working they were gone. But I have now found a couple of great friends. A few I met in the neighborhood, and a couple I met through Katie's Kindergarten class. I am so lucky to have found these women. They each offer something different, but mainly just an ear to bend.
I am thankful for being able to stay home with the kids. Being a Stay-at-home Mom is wonderful! It is hard, and I know that sometimes it is a struggle, but I think it is so important to be here if it is possible. I can't imagine leaving the kiddos now, but if the economy doesn't start looking up then I will be finding out all too soon how it feels.
and on a bit of a funny note ...
I am thankful that Katie is still young enough NOT to know what to do with makeup!

And this is Make-Up LAND! Only a SMALL SMALL sample of her make-up collection.

One of these days i am going to be wishing she still applied her make-up like this so that the boys would run away from her instead of after her. Please let those days be FAR away! Now THAT is something I would be truly thankful for!
Although, thanks to I do know that Katie and Jacob are a perfect love match. Now we just have to figure out which one of the Jacob's it is talking about!!!! If it is this one then at least I will have adorable pics for their wedding slideshow!

... but the other Jacob has already been "on a date" with her. At least according to him :) I am just glad it told her that Zac Efron and Nick Jonas were not compatible with her! Phew! Big weight off my shoulders!

Monday, November 24, 2008

122 Monday, Monday

The beginning of another fun filled week. Sure, the week technically starts on Sunday, but yesterday was a non-day. Chip woke up with the stomach bug, so I quarantined him upstairs. The kids and I amused ourselves, and tried not to breathe his germs. Well, except for Katie who would run upstairs to check on her Daddy every ten minutes. She can remember things from 5 years ago (and she is only 6) but she cannot remember how miserable she was just two weeks ago when she was the one sick!! It is like when I tell her "don't jump on the furniture" or "don't run down the hall when Connor's sleeping" or "don't pull out another piece of candy and eat it without having your blood sugar checked!! We have to control your sugar!! Do you want to lose your foot!!??" All of that goes in one ear and out the other, if it goes in at all. So anyway, Chip spent the whole day puking. I am hoping my turn doesn't come!! I am planning on making the drive to Atlanta with the kiddos on Wednesday for the Thanksgiving weekend, but knowing my luck I will start throwing up on Tuesday night .. YAY ME! At least Connor is feeling better!
Still feeling really down about not being able to do the wedding shoot. Kinda got my hopes up a bit. I want to turn this "hobby" into a career!! I have a problem with throwing myself out there, and trying to build a business on my own ... but you know what they say, "you want something done right, then do it yourself." So, I a thinking about doing just that. I need to figure out the specics. What all is involved in the business end of it. It is all well and good to say I am going to do it, but it is quite another thing to actually accomplish that goal. I have to come up with a name, but I think I might have done that. I need to build a portfolio, with more than just pics of my gorgeous kiddos. I need to ADVERTISE myself. I have to actually leave my house :)
This is the closest I have come to saying these things to anyone other than my ShutterBuddy Candy. I think these things, but I feel like a fool saying them outloud. It is hard to speak of our dreams. I wouldn't tell you about dreams of flying monkeys in cornfields ... I would seem crazy, huh?! That is how I feel about talking about photography. I am so afraid that someone is going to say "Seriously, you are not that good!" Or, "you can't actually make money doing that!" Or even worse "what a brilliant idea!" Because if I try, and if I fail ... and you know!! oh how much worse it would be than just keeping my dreams balled up tight in my chest, hidden deep within!
So, this has come away from talking about my hubby's stomach bug ...
What do you think of the name :

Tick Tock Photography
(your moments, frozen in time)
now I just have to make myself hit the "publish post" button ...

Friday, November 21, 2008

121 I have learned ...

a) I visit my blog WAY more than anyone else
b) not all stomach bugs last 24 hours
c) don't get your heart set on anything that requires another person
d) I really, really hate cleaning and sanitizing
e) I play with pictures way too much!
f) John and Marlena are getting the ax ...

-So, I put in the Live Tracker thingy, and I see that of 10 visits, most were from me. To be fair I do use my blog to link to other blogs I read frequently. I can glance down the sidebar and see which ones have updated. Easy Peasy.
-Connor threw up again tonight. So, if anyone is keeping up with that ... Once Tuesday morning, once Thursday morning, and once Friday night. And, add on top of that the massive amounts of butt-splats ... I am TIRED of cleaning and changing diapers! Poor little guy. He really has been good considering he must feel like a pile of poo. He wants his mommy, but as long as he has me he is pretty content.
-I will not be doing a wedding shoot. It was going to be "too complicated" and weird with multiple places and shoots. Wedding one place, stop at another to shoot formals (which happens to be a cemetery), and the reception. I am a little relieved since Connor is sick, but if I do decide to start shooting weddings I can't exactly take off because my kiddos get sick. I don't think any bride out there would be understanding about the fact there are no pics of her wedding because my kid had butt-splats. Ya think ... I was totally prepared to go. The in-laws were coming to babysit. I am a bit heartbroken. I wanted to give this a try, but looks like it will have to wait now. We are going to try, it just won't be tomorrow.
-Did I mention how TIRED I am of cleaning and sanitizing!! Okay, so I am doing a massive sanitizing effort. Above and beyond the call of Mom-duty. I can't let my baby get all pukey again!!
-I played around with some new effects in Elements, so darn cool! It is hard to stop playing with digital photos. There are so many things you can do to them!

you can just clean them up and make them bright and sharp ...
you can play with the hue can apply a filter, like Solarize ...
You can play with the Hue, then Solarize ... It really is just too much fun!!
Which also brings me to the color we picked out for the upstairs bathroom. See the blue in the last picture? Yeah, I might be crazy, huh! It is about that color. Gorgeous color, just don't know how it is going to be for a bathroom. Katie wanted blue ...
-And finally, the most distressing news. A friend forwarded this link to me. John and Marlena on Days of Our Lives are being fired ... and this time it might be for good. Apparently they are trying to cut back on their expenses and John and Marlena make the most money. So much for job security! If Marlena can't keep a job then who can!?!? John, ehhhh ... he only has two expressions and an eyebrow raise, not a big loss.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

120 Love Thursday

Love Thursday is a weekly posting of, you guessed it, images of LOVE! Yeah, sneaky huh?!?!

This is from a blog I read regularly, Chookaloonks ---

Well, Love Thursday is back. Here's how it works:
A few years ago, I was enthralled by a simple photograph that my friend Irene had posted on her blog -- a simple heart-shaped leaf, with the caption "love is (really) all around, and so the feeling grows." I noticed that she was right: images and other signs of love appear everywhere, if only you look.
And so, here on Chookooloonks, I (re)launch a weekly tradition: on Thursdays, I invite you to share your own links to images or stories of love here in the comments section. I hope you will. It's wonderful seeing how much love there is in the world.

So, back to me :) I have never posted a picture before, but I took this one last week and it seems to fit right in.
And here is my picture ...
Who doesn't LOVE a heart-shaped leaf?? And of course, I thought I should play with it a little, give it a little love :)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

119 The Good Ol' Days

My friend Candy and I were talking about cameras, okay ... so we were IMing about cameras. Anyway, we started talking about old cameras. I am lucky enough to have three of my grandfather's old cameras. I have a Brownie Flash Six-20, a Voigtlander Vito CL, and a Sears TLS. The Brownie is in pretty rough shape. At least on the outside it is, but the inside seems to be pretty clean. The Voigtlander is complete with manual. The Sears is HEAVY! I have had these cameras for a while, but I have never had the time (or the guts) to really take them out for a test drive, but I think that is going to change. I found the manuals for the Brownie and the Sears camera online. Now I just have to find a replacement for the 625 mercury battery that was in the Sears camera, and whatever Kodak 620 film is these days. There are ways to make these cameras work, and I just need to find them. I have a few pictures my Granddaddy took, but my Mom has a whole tub full in Atlanta. I would love to add to those pictures with some of my own. If anyone knows where these pictures were taken I would love to know. I did log onto a website about bridges and posted a comment with this picture. It is likely that the bridge is over the Mississippi River, but I am not exactly sure which bridge it is. The Memphis Bridge does not have peaks nearly that tall. Of course that is now, but I don't know whether the bridge has had a facelift somewhere along the line. There is a bridge in Missouri called the Cairo Bridge that looks similar. Of course, at this time all the bridges looked like this one.

I love these old pictures! I just wish I knew where they were, and why he thought they were important. I know there are a ton of pictures he took during the war in the tub at Mom's house. I want a laptop so bad so I can scan them in while I am home ... or Mom can just trust me to bring the huge Rubbermaid container of pictures to Mississippi ... *hint hint*

I just wish I had him here to tell me about them ....

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

118 Possibilities

One of the girls that I used to work with at The Grand is married to a guy that has his own wedding videography/photography business. He is looking to bring someone into it to handle more of the fieldwork while he concentrates on the business end. So, this weekend I will be tagging along on a wedding shoot to see how I like the wedding biz. I have never done more than just shoot pics for myself, so I am a little bit nervous. Obviously I love taking photos! And what woman does not love a wedding? I may not have wanted one for myself, but I can totally get caught up in the idea of THE DRESS and the cake and the flowers. I still have a file folder of wedding stuff that I pulled from a magazine my Freshman year in college. So, I am hoping that I can deliver the joy of the day in picture form. That is what I am afraid of though. This is "the day", not just another day that can be repeated if there is a mistake. There are no mistakes to be made. You have to be totally on your A-game. And, as some of you already know, I am not a forceful person. I am not good at giving directions (and even worse at taking them). I don't know how good I am going to be at communicating what I want people to do, how to pose, for pictures. How I am going to round up a wedding party, have them all smiley and happy and PERFECTLY POSED for pictures. And I have a photojournalistic style of phototgraphy. I am used to taking pictures as life is happening, not posing people up. (I try, the kids just don't cooperate) It is going to be a totally new experience. One I hope I am good at and that I enjoy. I would love to have a career, and not just a job. I love staying home with the kids, but it is getting to the point we have to think about me getting a job anyway. Photography is something I love. I would be gone for a while, but most of the work can be done at home on the computer. I am hoping this all pans out.

Friday, November 14, 2008

117 Live News

Okay, so enough about the cemetery already!!
The kiddos have been crazy as ever.
Katie had the misfortune of catching the stomach bug that was going around. She spent Tuesday and Wednesday at home with us, instead of going to school. Throwing up does have its perks! Thursday she came home with her make-up work and stuff to study for her test TODAY! Well, she brought home some of the stuff. One of the main things is the story they are supposed to read each week from the book that they only send home on Wednesday. Oh, they still sent home the sheet of paper I have to sign to confirm that she read the story .. just not the book. And then, today she has a test with most of the questions written in context to the story that she did not read. Yeah, that sounds fair. We worked with her on her spelling words and her vocabulary words. She did great with them here at home, but we have to see how she does under "test pressure". This is not the first time they have "forgotten" to send home the book. I don't care that "book day" is Wednesday ... she has to READ the story!! Also, I don't think they were purposely trying to confuse the kids, but one of their spelling words this week is "THERE" and one of their vocabulary words is "THEIR". I just don't want Katie being penalized because she did not have the story to read, that the vocabulary words come from!!
Not a lot of pics of Katie this week. These are from Saturday. How cute is she?!?!
Connor is adorable, as usual. He is trying to run now. I took something from him and walked into the kitchen and he came running after me so fast! He definitely has the "red headed temper"!! And it makes it even funnier that he bows his arms out behind him to balance out his tummy! Is it wrong to think he is the cutest thing ever when he is mad at me?? He also is playing with cars making "car sounds". He actually has done that for awhile, but not consistently. He loves the computer and will bang away at the keyboard. He loves all keyboards though. He has taken over Katie's old Barbie piano for his own. He is constantly composing his own music for us. Hmmm, wonder if I can paint that thing black ... the pink just is not his color! And Connor went FORWARD FACING on Sunday. Very exciting for him. He can finally watch movies with Katie. I am pretty sure Connor was begging for food in these pictures. You can see that we starve him to death! And I finally got a picture of those little pearlies!

And in other news ... Brady Black is back on Day of Our Lives ... well, the character, not the actor that played him. I hate when they switch actors!! I know you were dying for an update!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

116 yeah, I took more pictures at the cemetery ...

I am sure you are tired of looking at pictures of Elmwood Cemetery, but I am going to put up another slideshow anyway. I only had about half the "keepers" on the last post. Next post will have pics of the kiddos, don't worry :)

Our trip to the cemetery was full of silly jokes, that I am sure just seem plain dumb if you weren't there. I was making a comment that one of the statues had lost its arm, and Candy responded with "Maybe that's how she died!" Which was pretty funny at the time, but got even more funny when I found a headless statue. So, of course I commented that maybe that was how she died, but Candy did not think it likely. I bet a lot more people have died from losing their heads than losing an arm ... dontcha think :)
Or finding a pack of Pall Mall cigarettes laying next to a grave. It seemed the perfect caution against smoking.
And the best was when Candy came running up to me "I got a picture of a ghost!" And how cool would that be ... and she shows me a picture of a Mylar Ghost balloon that had been tied to a grave. We had talked about how the theory is that ghosts can be captured by photography ... but no ghosts for us.
Although Candy would say the best was watching me run/flit across the graveyard trying to get a picture of the coming train. We did not know the trains would come every 15 minutes!! Or maybe when I "flew" to the next big monument. Or maybe when I kicked the van into reverse to try to get another shot of an oncoming train. It sure looked a lot slower than it was :)
Also, there were a few statues that bore striking resemblances to Gone With the Wind characters. I saw Ashley Wilkes and Doctor Meade! There were also a few Grover Cleveland-esque statues around.
I am sure they enjoyed the sound of laughter a lot more than the pounding of the trains!!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

115 Saturday in a Cemetery

It is not often that you get to enjoy a trip to the cemetery, but this past Saturday I definitely did! My friend, Candy, and I decided to take a little "photocation". Originally we planned to head to downtown Memphis, but then we started talking about the old cemeteries around, and decided to visit one. We decided on Elmwood, although there were quite a few choices in the area. There are a couple that you can see from the interstate as we drove up that I want to go back to visit sometime. I am sure that there are people who would think it morbid to traipse around a cemetery taking pictures, but the grounds were absolutely beautiful!! The leaves were turning, the sun was shining, and the nip of Fall was in the air! It was very peaceful. Well, except when the trains went roaring past, and that was about every 15 minutes!
It was definitely interesting to read the tombstones. Of course the most interesting markers were the ones that had been worn away. The truly old always draw me the hardest. Heartbreaking the number of baby graves! It really re-enforced to me how lucky I am to live today. A hundred years ago we probably would have lost Katie at 4 months when she was diagnosed with diabetes. And when Connor arrived six weeks early it would have been a true struggle to keep him alive. But then there were the graves of people who had lived long and happy lives. Monuments to the love they shared.

I took over 600 photos, parsed them down to 354. Here are the few I have had time to edit. It truly is a beautiful spot!

On a lighter note, while looking through the pictures Katie walked up behind me and said "I wish Elvis was buried there!" Which of course made me pull up pictures of Graceland. Looks like I know where we are going the next time Grammy comes to visit!!

Years and years ago, back before digital, my buddy Ilka and I did a school report on Oakland Cemetery in Atlanta, GA. I don't know how we managed to limit ourselves to the film we had with us!! I would love to go back to Oakland now, and be able to compare the pictures from about 18 years ago. Early this year Oakland was hit by a tornado and many of the monuments were damaged. 150 trees were lost. They are working to restore the cemetery, but it will never be the same.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

114 Better than that!

I was watching "Jon & Kate Plus 8" today, and I realized something. I am SO not embarrassing Katie. And if she ever thinks I am, I will make her watch an episode. Then she will thank her lucky stars that she is not Maddie or Cara. Those poor girls are going to be mortified in a few years. They have meltdowns all the time. They will look back at those episodes and wonder why their parents were so mean. They will probably get the same answer that Katie will ... it was for your own good.

On another note, I was rolling through some old shots last night while IM'ing with my buddy Candy. I was pulling out some older pics to show her, and just browsing through them all. It really made me realize that I might actually have a little talent in the photography field. It also has helped that some pseudo-strangers have complimented some recent pics. Having people, whose photos I admire, compliment some of my own pictures ... WOW! Thank you so much! I needed a confidence boost. I have had an offer, kinda-sorta, to start working with weddings. I am seriously considering it. I love taking pictures. And what girl does not love weddings?? I just want to make sure I enjoy it before I make that commitment. I do not want to flake out on this. I have asked if I can tag along on a wedding to test it out. We will see where this takes me. I have been trying to gather some of my favorite shots into a portfolio of sorts ... of course they are mainly of Katie and Connor. I have a "photocation" (thanks for the new word Candy) this Saturday with Candy. We are going to head out to Elmwood Cemetary and maybe do some shooting downtown. I am so excited to have a buddy that is interested in the same thing! I will, of course, let everyone know how all of this pans out. And if anyone (nearby) wants me to try to take some pics of their families, just let me know. Catch me quick, who knows when I might be a big deal and charge an arm and a leg ;) Or have my "portfolio" firmly started. Until then, watch out! You know I always show up with a camera!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

113 No Sticker for Me!

I know that just about everyone I know is disappointed right now. Barack Obama is going to be our President. Chip and I were able to go vote even with the kiddos in tow. In fact, I think it was even faster than getting married at City Hall (which is impressive). I filled in my bubbles (yeah, I live in MS and we still have to fill in bubbles like we are in elementary school) with Connor on my hip. Katie was standing with her Dad, looking around the courtroom. I knew before my ballot was even put in the ballot box that my vote had been cancelled out. Katie saw one of her buddy's father and I have seen his yard sign. But, you know what. I voted for who I wanted to vote for. My Mom and my brothers, and my in-laws don't agree with my vote ... so what! MY vote. And honestly, I don't think it matters either way. The next four years are going to be HARD. Obama has a hard job ahead of him. He may be wishing that McCain had won when he gets in that Oval Office and sees the destruction that has been wrought already. It is going to be a hard 4 years for us all. So, lets not make it worse by complaining right off the bat. Give him a chance to start shoveling away all the crap from this administration. I, for one, am excited about our future. Mainly, I am EXCITED that Bush will no longer be the one in control!! I am just mad that I did not get an "I voted" sticker. I could not have even gotten a free Krispy Kreme if I had wanted one!

In other news, Katie is making huge progress! We have worked harder with her reading. She is getting a lot better at it, and I think mainly she is feeling more comfortable reading. She tends to get frustrated and quit. Big shocker since I am pretty sure that is my M.O. We also might have hit a breakthrough on her math. I really can't tell for sure until I get test results because even though she might know something forwards and back at home she might get to school and not be able to do it for them. We had her orthopedic appointment today, as well. Dr. Sawyer said that he thinks we can do without the nerve test. He did give us some signs to look for that would point us back to the nerve test, but I think she will heal up just fine if she works at it.

Oh, and totally forgot to share! Connor can stand up in the middle of a room by himself. He has been doing it for a little over a week, but I love it every time he does it! There is nothing cuter than watching his little butt toddle around in a pair of jeans! It is the cutest thing ever!

So, in conclusion ... all is right in the world. And if it is not, then it won't be fixed by your griping. I hope that Obama can open your eyes. I hope that people stop believing everything they hear on TV or read on their propaganda pamphlets. I pray that the next four years bring about change. I hope ...

Monday, November 3, 2008

112 Memphis Rock'n'Romp

This was only our second time to attend Memphis Rock'n'Romp, but it was even better than the last one!! This time it was at the ...

It was absolutely gorgeous. Beautiful weather and the Mississippi River rolling in the background. The grounds were great. There were sculptures scattered about, although some were wrapped in yellow CAUTION tape to keep the kiddos from impaling themselves. Katie's friend Mia went with us, so she had someone to run with. And run they did. They had a great time playing with each other, but they have not ventured too much into playing with the new kids yet. Katie still did not have someone to dance with though. Well, they did dance a little bit off to the side, but I think Katie wanted to be in front of the band. Maybe the trick is to bring 3 kids together. I may have to try that next time, as long as I can get another parent to tag along with me.
We were running late as usual. We totally missed the first band, and we got there just as The Barbaras were about to take the stage. I was surprised that The Barbaras were led by a skinny white guy in spandex shorts. Not surprisingly they were quite silly. Luckily I had gone back to the blanket before the next band because they were LOUD!! I guess the fact they were named the True Sons of Thunder should have tipped us off. They were loud, and pretty much BAD. But the absolute HIGHLIGHT of the day was The Luv Clowns featuring Harlan T. Bobo!! This was so awesome. Everyone was gathered in front of the stage area, sitting around waiting for the show to start. And everyone sat there with huge smiles on their faces the whole time. Well, Katie was a bit iffy about the whole situation. She was sitting smack dab in the middle of the front row. Which surprised me since the last time she saw clowns she would not go anywhere near them. She has gotten over that total fear. She acknowledges that they are just people in funny clothes and makeup, but she was still a bit undecided on whether she likes them or not. She did say she thought it was funny when one of them got hit in the face with a piece of cake. And who wouldn't laugh at that?!?!
The day ended the same way the last RnR did, with rolling down a hill. Only this time the hill was HUGE! Irresistable to my little daredevil. I did warn her that she had reached her quota on ER visits, so she had to be careful. That got a bit of a chuckle from a Dad behind me. Of course this was prompted by the fact she decided to run down the hill instead of rolling, and she ended up doing a rolling flip at the bottom. I am still unsure as to whether the roll was planned or accidental.
I was completely exhausted ... but the girls were still going strong. Kids amaze me with their boundless energy. Yeah, I know they are supposed to be that way, but it just seems UNNATURAL!!
Okay, here are the pics (more here)

Another great Rock-n-Romp!! I was so glad to see my bloggin' buddies from Memphis, and I am pretty sure they were excited to see their stalker, too ... I mean, blog reader. I was completely shocked to be greeted at the welcome table with "Hey CarrieJ!" Made me feel right at home, thanks Other Chip!!

111 Smell My Feet

Trick or treat
Smell my feet
Give me something good to eat
If you don't
I don't care
I'll pull down your underwear!

Can you imagine if kids yelled this out at someones house today! When we were kids, it was still cute. Now people are freaked out (and rightly so) about child molesters and kids growing up too fast. I would be absolutely shocked to hear my daughter say she wanted to pull down someone's pants, even as a joke. Maybe it is just because I so dread her growing up. I want her to maintain her sweet innocence as long as possible.

I finally got the house decorated a little bit on Halloween. I did not have time for a big production, but I think it turned out pretty spooky anyways.

I got to take some pics of the nutballs before it was too dark. Katie had worn her costume to school, she is Hannah Montana if you can't tell :)! Grammy made her dress! Connor is a pirate. Can't you tell by the striped pants? It came with a shirt, vest, and sash but he ended up just staying in his t-shirt.

And did I mention that Connor's head is SO BIG that I had to cut into his hat and put elastic?!?

I just wanted to be in the spirit of Halloween, but I may have just ended up confusing the trick-or-treaters. I turned off the porch light, but I doubt that anyone payed attention to that. In fact there were a LOT of lights out. I think most of the houses have kids of the trick-or-treat age so we are all out with them. The main thing is running around with your friends, and Katie definitely got to do that! We had talked about her friend Seyerra going with us, but when I tried to call and find out when she wanted to come over I could not get anyone on the phone. So, I got Katie all ready, and Connor all ready, loaded up the hoopdee (stroller), and we were off. We headed up towards Mia's house and almost immediately met up with them. Katie actually went to the first house with her buddy Jacob and his little sis. The rest of the night was spent with Mia and various others.

We walked down the street, then we ended up on a trailer behind a 4-wheeler. Lots of houses and lots of fun and a ton of candy! We only ended up with a few casualties. We had one scared to tears at one house, and another that fell once and got run over another time (also at the scary house). For once my child was not the one tumbling down. As hard as that is to believe! Connor was good through it all, of course. He is just the sweetest little thing. At the very worst he is going to want to be held. He is used to being toted around behind Katie. Poor guy! We were out until almost 9pm. Connor had fallen asleep, and most of the lights were out. I thought we were the last trick-or-treaters until I noticed some people pulling up at our house and heading to the door. We had just dropped Mia off at her house, so I hightailed it home to at least give out some candy. We were home for the very first and the very last trick-or-treaters. Katie got a huge haul of candy, and she had a blast. Another complete success!

And did I mention that Chip dressed up for work. His buddy Jeff stopped by and the rode in together. You ever hear the one about the Monk and the Redneck ....