Saturday, December 31, 2005

Kissing Cousins

2005 Accomplishments

My good friend Shawna threw a challenge out that I am going to pick up and run with: instead of coming up with New Years Resolutions (which imply things you did wrong and/or failed at during the past year), I am going to list my accomplishments in the hopes that it will spur me to move ever forward.

I successfully gave birth to my beautiful and amazing daughter and made it through her first terrifying day of life.

I recovered from my c-section in record time.

I learned how to handle the demands of a newborn and a 3 year old which often compete head to head.

I survived "trial by fire" when, my first day alone with both kids, a nasty bug (upper and lower GI, thanks. UGH!) hit both kids on the same day. None of D's relatives where in town and I was dealing with it alone since D had exhausted her leave to be home after the baby was born.

I survived, by the skin of my teeth, the worst part of the journey into PPD that, even with medication, rivaled the PPD I experienced (un-medicated) after my son was born. I am still battling it daily but I have not let it win - I consider that a HUGE victory.

I survived the first semester of D being in law school....and....I did better than I feared I would.

I survived potty learning and discovered that I should trust my instincts a heck of a lot more when it comes to my kids.

I began working with digital scrapbooking and re-discovered my long-lost creativity. For the first time in a long, long time I am doing something for myself that fulfills me and helps me feel like more than "just a mom". (Thank you, Shawna!!)

I have actually read 3 entire magazines this year. And no, that isn't a typo. :)

I reached out and made a new friend - who shines light, and tons of laughter, on my life. Because of my new friend, my kids have made three new friends.

And here is my ONE continuing resolution for 2006: reduce the clutter in my house. My goal is, little by little, to clean up the garage and start giving away/selling things the kids have outgrown or that we no longer have a need for. The one thing I have learned from all the clutter though is: We are very blessed and very, very fortunate for all that we have.

Happy New Year to you all!!

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Cookies for Santa

Journaling reads: Kelton put out cookies and milk for Santa and carrots for the reindeer. He just couldn’t help himself though - he just HAD to taste everything. After declaring it all “Yummy” he left the rest for the big guy.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

The Magic and Wonder

Last night, my daughter decided it was time to become interested in the Christmas tree. She's done amazingly well with ignoring it for the past week and a half but apparently, in the dim light of the room, the lights on the tree called to her.

We snapped these photos of her with the hopes of capturing her joy. I think we did a pretty good job. :)

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

I seriously LOVE this page!!

This page just came to me when I bought a kit today called "Still Life". I love, love, love it!!

Have I mentioned how much fun I'm having inhe world of digi-scrapping?

And yes.....some day I will write an actual post. Suffice it to say that with D out of classes and home by 5pm, I'm one happy girl. Oh - and since Christmas is mere days away I'm more than giddy. I think I rival Kelton on the excitement level. :)

Monday, December 19, 2005

Side By Side Comparisions

Ok - are you ready. I've revised my first three layouts - two of them I like SO much better but the third one I'm not sold on. I can't say I like the foggy look to the pictures but the sepia was looking too green. Normal color was too intense. Also, the pink ribbon completely changed colors when I swapped out the background. Wild. I'll redo it again - but not tonight. :)

Page 1 - original

Page 1 - revised

Page 2 - original

Page 2 - revised

Page 3 - original

Page 3 - revision #1 - ICKY!! (Hmmm...weird. It doesn't look AS awful on the screen as it does printed out but still....)

And todays special page:

Getting Started In The Digi World

I am using Photo Shop Elements for my scrap book pages and now that I am getting the hang of it, it's really getting easy. :) I buy the "kits" from different digi stores on-line and it comes with everything - papers, embellishments, letters.....Kits range in cost from $3-$7 (on average) and you can use the elements over and over and over again.

There's a great place that has freebies you can download so you can jump in and get your feet wet without sinking money into it.


Other great places to visit are:

Most of the digi stores have tips and tutorials as well as galleries to give you ideas.

It really IS fun!!

So who's going to join my in my latest obsession? :)

My 15 minutes page

D thought I was nuts when, at 10pm last night, I said "I'll be back - I just had a great idea for a page!" It took me just about 15 minutes to whip it up....I really like it!

Sunday, December 18, 2005

The Pumpkin Patch - Revisited

I know, I know - you are rolling your eyes but hey - when I learn something I jump in with both feet. I'm sure the novelty will wear off soon enough. Just humor me until then, ok?


We've had our first snow of the winter and while there isn't a huge amount on the ground, the chance of freezing rain increases by the hour. Oh joy. In the meantime though, the boy and I went out to play for a bit. Fun!

Here's the page I created from a couple of the shots.

Bath Art

This is completely addicting! :)

Apparently I need to create a new blog which is strictly for posting my new pages so that I don't bore people's my blog and I can bore if I want to! :) If you scrapbook (or if you ever wanted to) this digital scrapping is the way to go! No mess - no stacks of things sitting on a table - it's all on your computer and when you're ready to clean up, you just close the program. Nice!!

Saturday, December 17, 2005

My Second, Third And Fourth Attempts

This is fun! :)

First Attempt at Digital Scrapping

So - this is my first attempt at digital scrapping.....what do you think?

Friday, December 16, 2005

Stuff Portrait Friday

The assignment for the week:
Something RED

This is a ceramic Santa wall hanging that my late grandmother made. As a child, I can remember it hanging in her house. My grandmother has been gone for almost two years (Jan 8th) and since she has passed, it has become even more precious to me. I love looking at it.

Something GREEN

This is a wreath that a former co-worker made for me one year. I love it!

Something that you decorate

Our fireplace mantle is one of my most favorite places in the house - especially during the Christmas season. I adore all the Santa photos and look forward to adding more as the years go by.

While I was talking photos, my 3.5 year old son was asking questions about why I was talking pictures of the things I did so I explained to him the assignment. He wanted to play, too! So, I had him pick out something red, something green and something we is his take on the project:

Something Red:

His Fisher Price Sleigh from his Christmas playset

Something Green:

The other side of his Fisher Price Sleigh

Something you decorate:

As he so eloquently stated: The tree, of course!

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Shameless Self Promotion

Today is my birthday. Yep - I'm the big Four-One which for you young'uns is OLD!! :)

I thought today was going to be just a regular day in my life since D is working and then she has her last final of the semester tonight. But nope. So far it's been a great day!

The prince had a restless night last night so D ended up sleeping in which meant she was here when I woke. WAAAHOO!!!!! She and the prince scampered out to put up all of our birthday decorations (a tradition for us) and then I was given the ok to come to the front of the house.

The prince so wanted to open gifts so we did (even though tradition states we open one or two in the morning and spread the rest throughout the day). Since D won't be home until after the kids are in bed tonight, it only made sense.

My gifts ROCK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

D put together an amazing computer slideshow of our family from the time the prince was born until last week and I have to say, it was THE best gift ever!! The music is amazing, too, and D and I were crying looking at photos of our tiny babies and how they have changed over the months and years.

She also gave me PhotoShop Elements (which I really, really wanted!), page protectors for the pages I will be scrapbooking with my new program, a binder to put said pages in and the cable needed to connect the color printer we've had sitting in our bedroom, unused, for a year. (Little did I know that the printer that came with our camera is a standard color printer and not just for photos. Don't laugh - when you have kids, reading paperwork and manuals is a luxury few can afford in the early years.) She also gave me the first season of the O.C. which I have never, ever seen. Don't ask - I don't know but I'm sure it will be entertaining. :)

Being the wonderful partner that she is, D set up the printer for me before she headed off to work. I just love that woman!! :)

In a little bit, the kids and I will be heading over to Shawna's house for a play date. It's actually a play date for the moms but we pretend it's for the kids. :) I'm excited - lots of coffee and fun conversation. Sounds like a great way to spend my birthday. :)

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

So Who Will Be Playing SPF With Me?

Ok all you photo hounds.....who is going to join me for Stuff Portrait Friday?

Here's the assignment:
This week:

Something RED

Something GREEN

Something that you decorate.

Next week, the assignment is going all don't give away TOO much!! :)

Get clicking! :)

Monday, December 12, 2005

Boys Gone Wild

Last Friday two moms and I arranged a play date for our combined total of seven children. Ages were 5, 3.5, 2.5, 2, 1, 10 months and 8 months. And a fun time was had by all......

Don't believe me? Take a look at the mess....I mean fun! :)

The Play Zone:

Even the Prince's room was hit:

Seven little ones sit still at last:

The livingroom returned to it's usual state:

A New Skill and Some New Photos

Oh Shawna - you are going to be so proud of me! I figured out how to change color pictures to black and white. Now I know all you smarty pants out there trying hard not to laugh at me but since I've become a mom, I have really let my computer skills go downhill. You know - the whole "use it or lose it" thing and add to it how quickly technology changes and well...I'm hopelessly behind the times.

Case in point: I've had my digital camera for a year this month and I just discovered that it has a timer. Go figure. So we've been having fun with that too!

So here you to entertain you. (And yes...I could hear that collective groan...but seriously, a mom has to show off pictures or she will have her mom license revoked. No, really. It's true. Ask any mom. :) )

The Black and White Experience:

**please note: black and white AND the timer. I'm so cool! :)

And The Timer Experience:

Wonder Boy Photo:

And The One the Wonder Boy Took:

Cristin - this is for you:


I am feeling completely overwhelmed by my life right now.

maybe I'll expand on that later........but then again, maybe I'll just be hiding under my bed for a while.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

She Speaks!!

My baby girl (who turned 10 months on Saturday) is finally saying "Mama Mama Mama" - and the best part's for ME!!! (well - ok...for D too but mostly for me, I'm sure of it. *wink*)

She has the cutest damn voice in the world!! :) :) :)

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Another Visit To Santa

We were shopping at our local Wal-Mart(*) store today and, unbeknownst to us, they were having a visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus out in the garden area. Once someone told the prince about it he only had one thing on his mind - go see Santa and Mrs. Claus. So off we went.

He kept asking about Mrs. Clause; could he talk with her? What was she like? Could he sit on her lap? I answered with the typical parental answer of "I don't know, honey. We'll have to wait and see."

There was no line, just a group of kids ahead of us already talking with the man in the red suit. Mrs. Claus was nowhere in sight which distressed my little guy a great deal. I said "Well honey, you ask Santa where she is when you talk with him."

Finally the group of children were finished and the prince eagerly ran forward. An elf positioned herself to take a picture and I very slyly asked how much a photo would cost. FREE! Alrighty then - fire away!

I picked the princess up from the cart and plunked her in Santa's lap to which a great look of alarm crossed her face (she doesn't do well with strangers in the first place and my just plopping her down unsettled her. Poor thing.). She screwed up her face to start crying but never fully did. She kept turning around to look at this man to whom her brother chattered away with and then returned her gaze to me and would screw up her face again. I happen to think it's the cutest little pouty face in the world and I didn't mind one bit about having a photo with Santa that was all smiles - a pouty look would be fine. I would expect no less. (The prince never cried when he saw Santa when he was younger - but then, he adores everyone and isn't the least bit reserved like his sister.)

The prince did ask Santa about Mrs. Claus and apparently she had been with him for several hours and she needed to go potty. Ah yes - something a newly potty trained three year old would understand! He said if we stopped by in a while she would be back.

So off we went to get the things we needed.

After we had everything, we headed back to the garden area. I spotted Mrs. Claus in her Christmas tree dress and pointed her out to the prince. He tried to say hello but we were too far away so I moved closer. Suddenly a look crossed the prince's face and he whispered "Mommy, let's get out of here." So we did. As we were going down the aisle I asked why he didn't want to talk with her and he said, eyes full of innocence "She doesn't look like she is supposed to. She looks different on Barney and in my book."

Ah ha! She wasn't wearing a red furry dress that matched Santa. Smart kid!

I said "Well you know, it's so warm in the store and she is so busy running around that she probably changed into something cooler. I bet she has her red furry dress in the sleigh."

Score one for mom. He seemed happy with that answer.

Boy am I dreading the day realizes Santa is a myth.

* I apologize if our shopping at Wal-Mart offends you. To be honest, we aren't thrilled about it either considering their political and social views. But - considering we are a family of 4 with 2 large dogs, 5 cats, a person in law school and one income - we do what we have to do to save money and survive.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Stuff Portrait Friday - Oh Yea, I'm Playing!

Stuff Portrait Friday
Dec 9th - Happy To Be Stuck With You

Tattoo or birthmark: Yep - it's mine. Anyone out there shocked to know I have a tattoo? :)

My bumper sticker : gay pride

Something I keep changing: my daughter's little butt. :)

Thursday, December 08, 2005

The World Through The Eyes Of A Three Year Old

Through the Screen

The Bears Nativity Set

Jordan - not sure of what is happening.

Pine cones....of course.

The man of the month!

And it wouldn't be complete without a self portrait.