Sunday, May 23, 2010

365 Eight going on Eighteen

Katie had a whole birthday weekend. Friday she had her Recognition Ceremony at school (remember when you just had a last day, and then you went to the next grade? I miss that). And since her birthday was on a weekend we brought in cupcakes to lunch (which were taken away before I could take a picture ...). Then she had a friend spend the night on Friday ... and on Saturday she had TWO friends spend the night. All in preparation for the BIG SHINDIG in Hell ... I mean, Chuck E Cheese. Katie was chomping at the bit to go to Chuck E Cheese, and I was trying to keep her from crawling up the walls. We set up the paints and she and Mia finally tackled the bead-type things I had made them. It killed a few minutes, and they had fun doing a little crafting.

And then, finally it was time to descend into hell ... go to Chuck E Cheese. Katie took off running the minute they showed us to our table. We didn't see her for a while ... well, I didn't. Chip had to run to Sam's Club to pick up the cake. Luckily, Mimi and Pop Pop showed up and took over Connor duty. He was dying to run off after Katie and I was left dealing with trying to tell the hostess that I DID NOT KNOW what types of drinks to put in the special kid cups ... and I did not know how many kids would be coming. ( she was really very nice, and we ended up running her to death since we kept adding kids ) So, people started trickling in, and the kids took off running with their tokens and I took *gasp* some pictures ... And I managed to take a picture of the cake before it was cut. My niece Tori and her friend Whitney. My best girlfriends were there too (with kiddos in tow of course) After almost an hour of playtime, it was time for pizza and rats .. I mean Chuck E to come out and greet the birthday kids. For the longest time Katie was terrified of the rat. She would hide from him. She would run from him. And now, here she is HUGGING him ... And she made her wish. I am sure she used it for something constructive like having better things than her friends ... or maybe she used it for the classic little girl wish of having a pony. If she was smart she would have wished that we would win the lottery .... She can just be SO selfish :)And no, that little boy that is in so many of my pictures (in the P hat) was not with our party. He was a Chuck E party crasher. He is in training for the big wedding bonanza of June.And then it was time to open presents. Katie cleaned up. $80 cash and $50 in gift cards, not to mention all the toys. Kid has more money than me right now ... so sad.And the required meltdown while redeeming tickets. Katie wanted a Polly Pocket house that cost 6000 tickets.... not quite there kid. On the way home we asked Katie if she had a good birthday .. and she started BAWLING! She didn't get her bike and she was crushed. Little did she know, Mimi and PopPop had been sent ahead to the house to get her new bike out of the garage and put it in the living room for her. SHE WAS ECSTATIC!

All in all our little girl had a fabulous birthday. She finally talked us into a birthday in hell .. Uhhh, Chuck E Cheese. Sure, it was only granted because I thought our kitchen might have been gutted by now, but she doesn't care. She had a BLAST! And it was completely worth it to see her so happy.

Thank you to all the parents and little buddies that showed up. I was so excited to see all of you, and glad that Katie had so many good friends to celebrate with.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

364 And so it begins ...

Monday night I put my sweet smelling little girl to bed. Tuesday morning when I went to wake her up and get her ready for school that had changed. There she was, asleep with her arms thrown over her head, so sweet and peaceful. When I leaned over her to pick her up and carry her downstairs ... BAM!! B.O.!! Where, oh where, has my little girl gone?!
Of course, Katie was as excited as could be! She has been trying to wear my deodorant for years, but I kept telling her she would clog her pores and really have to use it because she would stink. I have clung to her youth ... CLUNG I SAY! I teared up a little, and not just from the smell. My little girl is growing up ... no one better point out the next steps to puberty. I WILL CUT YOU!
After picking out and ordering her birthday cake (SINCE SHE TURNS 8 ON SUNDAY) we dropped into Walgreens. And I thought looking at toys was bad! She had to open and smell EVERY kind of deodorant ... and turn her nose up at them. Not sure what she thought they would smell like, but she was unimpressed with most of them. My one word of advice was that she needed to stay away from "powder fresh" scents. BLECH! Some she even had to smell twice.... AND OH MY I WAS LOSING MY MIND!

And of course all this time Connor was running around like a wild man. And it has to be along the makeup wall, so he is stopping to pull stuff off. We managed to avoid catastrophe ... right up until we ere checking out. That is when he managed to open a bottle of NEON GREEN nailpolish and THROW IT! Streams of neon green spraying across the floor and shelves. The lady at the counter was so sweet. She just said, not to worry, they were stripping the floors that night anyway. She came around with a box of kleenex and we wiped most of it up. At least it was an easier clean up than the yellow nailpolish he spilled across the carpet upstairs .....

So, my little girl is growing up ... but she is not so big she doesn't want me to tuck her in at night. And she is definitely not too big to fall asleep on my shoulder. I will hold tight to the little girl that remains, while I try to raise the big girl to be strong and smart.We are also caving in and letting Katie have her birthday party in Hell ... I mean, Chuck E. Cheese. My choices were limited. Our kitchen renovations will be happening soon, and it was entirely possible the kitchen would be gutted on her birthday. But, I had to come up with invitations of course. Katie is absolutely in love with peace signs right now. She wants every shirt she sees with a peace sign ... every shoe, everything! She had been saying she wanted a peace sign birthday, so of coourse I had to figure out something. I was just messing around. I painted this peace sign, and I wasn't exactly happy with it, not sure how I wanted it to turn into the invitation. So, I took a pic and loaded it into my editing software. I wasn't happy with the color so I started to adjust it a little ... and then I had an AHA! moment. I could adjust the hue and make a bunch of different peace signs. And this is what I came up with. I don't say it often about my own artork, but I LOVE THIS! It just might have to get printed up as a poster for Katie's room.And then the actual factuals ...
And VOILA! Birthday invitations .... and CHEAP birthday invites at that. I just had them printed as 4x6 prints. Even with one hour processing that is only about 19 cents a piece. Now if I could just stop putting it off to the last minute .... maybe next year :)

Monday, May 17, 2010

363 One Piece a Week #1

Last week, Chip and I watched Julie & Julia and I was feeling inspired. Not to the point I am going to do something crazy like cook my way through a HUGE cookbook in a year, but re-commit to my New Years Resolution to MAKE ART ... At least one piece a week. If you want to get all technical I definitely take more than one pic a week ... but I am hoping to do something in addition to the photography. So, just like you will have to get used to the rose pictures, you will have to get used to the fact that the majority of the time I paint bare trees.
I love the silhouette the bare branches make.
I like the promise that in a new season there will be new life.
I like the twists and turns and knots.
I think a tree without leaves has more personality.
Nothing to hide behind, no fabrications.
Bare bones.
So, this is week 1. 6x8 Acrylic

I will be adding this to my etsy shop soon, along with a few others. Just have to get off my tush and post them.

362 Wild Things

Saturday involved a trip to Wally World for diapers. And of course, no trip to Walmart is complete without buying something completely opposite from what you went in for. We parked at the garden entrance (which was my first mistake) and I was instantly seduced by the colors and smells. Flowers are an instant pick me up. So, I decided to pick me up two rosebushes. I have never grown my own roses, but I drive past a house with a profusion of them each day. And each day I want to jump out of my car and go snip off a couple ... but I have been raised not to enter another person's yard so I keep driving. Hopefully these will survive, and I won't have to covet the roses of others. I bought a "Broadway"And a "Blue Girl"And obviously you will have to put up with quite a few rose pics from me in the near future. (please don't pray for them to die, I will eventually stop flooding you with pictures of roses) I did get a few pics of not JUST the roses .... Like this one of a cute little bee.Or this one of my cute llittle boy. Connor LOVES the roses.We also experimented a little hile e were doing chocolate covered cherries the other day. I had extra chocolate and we had a kiwi, so we gave it a shot. Katie ate them FAST.And because no post is truly complete without antics from the Monkey and the Magpie ...

We had the pool cover laying out, hosing it off. Katie ran outside, saw it all wet and inviting, slid across it and decided it made a better slip'n'slide. She and Connor played all day!! And the next ... and they even played on it today. You guessed it ... more rose pics. I can't help it!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

361 The Great Outdoors

The weather has been gorgeous ... you know, when it isn't pouring rain and threatening tornadoes out there... so we have been trying to spend some time outside. Playing in the backyard, trips to the park behind our house, or hanging out on the deck.

My peony was gorgeous ... WAS ... stupid rain and wind has beat her up. And of course, I have been checking out the dandelions. Down on all fours ... well, threes... I have to hold the camera after all.

I even pulled out the ol' Argus for some TtV shotsOH ... and a pic or two of the kids when I can convince them to stay still long enough to click the shutter. Which doesn't happen very often ... especially with Katie!!Yesterday I took the kids out to the park so that Chip could yell at Call of Duty without us distracting him. Mostly the kids ran around, picking honeysuckle and climbing all over the play equipment, but I did manage to get them to stay still for a few milli-seconds. And no, I did NOT ask Katie to pose like this. She decided to turn into a little ham for the four pictures she deigned to let me shoot. Poor girl, still has a mark from the Hula Hoop Incident.Katie has obviously been trying to teach Connor how to "SMILE" ... e have GOT to break him out of this FAST! I don't think I can take two cheeseballs!Ok, that is better ... maybe if I took the macro lens off ... I am happy to report that Winn Dixie is still alive and well... and thankfully living with his actual owners. Katie and Connor still get to play with him out at the park and when he wanders by the house, but I don't have to deal with a dog.And, what do I do while the kids play? I take pictures of weeds and park debris. Pausing to run and help Connor slide down the fireman's pole or do the monkey bars. He tends to forget he can't actually fly if he falls off the platform. I was having fun with the macro, which is a must since most of the park "flowers" are tiny tiny things.And I couldn't leave out the honeysuckle. Katie loves it. I know I did when I was a kid, too .. but now I look at it and think ALL THAT WORK FOR A TINY DROP!!!And when dealing with the outdoors you are also dealing with insects. They love making cameo appearances. From the smallest of little flies...Little ladybugsAnd super freaky caterpillars. This one looks REALLY exotic but it just turns into a plain brown moth. It is called a Rusty Tussock Moth-cat. Katie took it into school today to show off.

I hope everyone else is experiencing some wonderful weather and time outside. Fresh air seems to be re-opening my creativity. I hope ...