Happy Valentine's Day!
Turn your volume up a little... then click.
And.... if it's your birthday today... Happy Birthday too. :)
Macho has recently come clean and point blank said that Halloween is his favorite holiday. Sorry, Santa.
We decorated the house on Oct. 1, for those keeping track. It was hard to get the poor kid to wait THAT long. As soon as Target was stocking their shelves with ghoulish goodies, homeboy was all over me about plastering our house with them. By the end of September, he'd just worn me down.
Sadly - the one larger tree that we had "webbed" was cut down two weeks ago. So it didn't make it to the big day. (A very good thing as it turns out - because it was dangerously close to the house - and the trunk was split down the middle. Thank you, sweet Jesus for the keen timing on that one.) And the rest of the decor - well it pretty much took a beating over the weekend. Thank you, Hurricane Sandy.
That didn't spoil the fun for my two little road warriors. They were ready to go as "Ladybug" and of course, "Justin Bieber" this year. Even Roxy had a "hot dog" costume, but didn't accompany us on the trick or treating odyssey this year. Too much to have to hold onto - seeing as I had to carry Miss Thing about 12 blocks.
Again - I stress - it's Macho's favorite thing - so we all just do what he says and play along nice. :)
Now, onto the bigger problem...
What am I going to do with all of this candy?
Sometimes I think I should just stuff it all in my pockets and wear it around like that.
Has the same effect as eating it.
Hope you all had fun!
The fam-dam and I enjoyed some waterfront fireworks last night... I brought my camera.
I have no clue how to properly photograph fireworks except to guess that a longer exposure (1 second or more) is probably a good idea. Also - it's pitch black outside so a high ISO should also be a part of the equation.
I started with a 3200 ISO... and dialed in a 1 second shutter speed.
That left me with adjusting my exposure to aperture of f/4.5 for "correct top-dead-centeredness."
That't a technical term... ya may wanna write that down. :) Tee hee.
I fiddled a little with the aperture and corresponding shutter a bit as I snapped - but basically stayed around this range. I left my ISO at 3200 the whole time.
Oh yeah - and I thought I was all clever and brought my tripod along - but I forgot the dang doo-hickey that screws into the bottom of my camera so I had to hold these pretty still.
Again - it's al soooo technical. Doo-hickeys and whatnot. Sheesh. ;)
I try holding my breath to keep my hands and body from shaking during the long exposure - but I don't think that matters much. I just end up solidifying the assumption among those around me that I'm just one big random idiot. Carting around gear that I clearly don't have the skill for.
So here's what I got...
All are SOOC (straight out of camera... I don't feel like doing any extra editing on a holiday!)
The one thing I was struck most by - the colors! When a red one would go off - the whole frame would glow red... and then orange, then purple and so on. That was cool for me to see the thumbnails all look so different when I downloaded them to the computer.
And the reflection on the water on some of them was pretty dope too.
Can't say much about the quality of these. I'm sure my iPhone woulda done just as good. :)
Hope you are all having a wonderful 4th of JULY!!!
Hi guys! Clark and the kids and I are spending this week at the Outer Banks with Mimi and Grandpa. I forsee lots of sandcastles, chasing crabs on the beach at night with flashlights, playing in the surf, reading... maybe everyone (even mommy!) napping in the afternoons. (Queue choirs of angels.)
After getting evacuated last August due to hurricane Irene - I'm ready for an early summer vacation where I can stay unpacked a full 7 days.
SO! I'll be taking a bit of a break from the blog to take some R&R.
See ya in a few!
Hey hey hey!
Wanted to do a quick little post here. Just returned from a weekend in Western PA visiting my parents. The kids were stoked to see Mimi & Grandpa and I was happy to be home with so many people I love all together.
It was a total of 12+ hours in the car inside of 3 days so I had a little time on the way home to review some of the photos that were taken and put together a little double 8.5x11 digital layout since it was all still fresh.
Here are the pages individually.
Hope you all have a lovely day today!
Had a little fun last night playing with stamps paper and glue. I always save the jelly jars we go through (All Fruit is what these were from). We eat LOTS and LOTS of peanut butter and jelly in this house so it's easy to stock up on glass jars in a few months time. They are an ideal size to store nice little treats for teachers or a little hostess gift or something - so I hang onto them when they are empty. Just fill it with an appropriate kind of candy or other treat (nuts, homemade oatmeal, trail mix, granola, or even mini lip glosses) - put a cute tag or some embellishments on it and voila. You got yourself something cute and easy and inexpensive.
These jars are filled with sugar coated jelly hearts and are going to preschool today with Macho for his teachers.
Also a very sweet sidenote - the little bugger has been starting to write his name and signed all 14 of his classmates/friends Valentine cards himself. Another little milestone in life now reached.
I sure do wish he would stop growing up so fast.
Here's another little iPhone pic of us yesterday making Valentines.
Kisses kept are wasted;
Love is to be tasted.
There are some you love, I know;
Be not loathe to tell them so.
Lips go dry and eyes grow wet
Waiting to be warmly met.
Keep them not in waiting yet;
Kisses kept are wasted.
~Edmund Vance Cooke
Whilst at Mimi's house... I can be certain of one thing. She WILL be demanding photos from my hard drive.
She makes these really great hardback photobooks for each of the grandkids every year. A sort of summation of their year - using the software available in iPhoto... and has them printed via the Apple print shop. They are really quite QUITE cool - but she relies heavily on myself and my sister-in-law to provide her with a lot of the raw material.
Last year - with all the business photos I was responsible for spiffing up - the personal ones - well - they fell by the wayside a bit.
However, I'm determined to keep up this year. So yesterday I spent a fair amount of time going through my photos from the month of December... in order to copy a slew of them over to one of Meems' hard drives.
SO! Do you have coffee in hand? Tea perhaps? Bloody Mary maybe?
Well - if not - go grab a beverage then come back. I have lots to show ya.
Alrighty... we begin December with this little beauty.
This year we, finally tuning into more of what the "locals" do 'round here, found out there is a cut your own Christmas tree farm just a short drive from our house. We decided to give it a go.
Macho found himself a little Charlie Brown special...
Instead - we hauled this little booger around awhile.
Macho was totally enthralled by all the busy busy going on after you haul your tree back to the big garage/barn. They shake it - and tie it up all in like 30 seconds and there are people and trees and wreaths everywhere... it was all very well organized.
In typical fashion - Clark handles the exterior... and me and my little elf handled the inside. We had a few goofs this year resulting in some broken ornaments. A few that were special... but that's just how it goes, I guess. I just loved that he was excited to do this with me. A small number of casualties in the "material" world seemed a decent price to pay.
He was so into it, in fact - that a girlfriend brought over a little "hand me down tree" that she used in her apartment last year - that she thought Macho would like. WELL... if he didnt think that was just the coolest thing. He kept sneaking out to the living room to steal ornaments for his tree.
Then it was time for a visit with Santa. We joined him for "Cookies & Cocoa with Santa" at our local YMCA. It's a rather low budget affair in terms of "set design" as you can see - but it's conveniently located across the street from our house and gets the job done! Woo hoo!
Macho took part in his first preschool Christmas pageant. He did not headline the event. Just a chours girl this time. His day will come, I'm confident of that.
Two weekends before Christmas, we traveled up to PA to visit my brother and sister-in-law and their kiddies for some early holiday fun. Mimi and Grandpa came too.
There was wrestling.
Then, there were boys dressing themselves in what they insisted were weather appropriate clothes.
Yes... mine is the one acting like a diva.
We do love eachother, though.
Just a few days before Christmas, my cousin, a Navy submariner who has been underway for the past 6 months was able to come home.
He was a sight for sore eyes!
Did you know if you crush up blue Jolly Rancher candies and then melt them in the oven - you can make water? We added the Sweedish/Goldfish for fun.
Just for fun...
Random photography tip :: Did you know achieving bokeh like this is super easy? Just flip your camera/lens to manual focus and rotate your dial until you like what you see. Then click. That's it. :O)
Right now are some sweet sweet years for us. Macho was sooooo into it this year. His face was just priceless on Christmas morning. He just stared and stared at that perfect replica Polar Express train going around the tree.
Santa is super polite... he always leaves a thank you note for the milk and cookies. And congratulates the kids on being good... and gives them some tips for being even better next year!
Those stockings were all knitted by my Grandma. Everyone in my family has one. At least - all the grandkids and great-grandkids (over 20 all together). They are super special.
I can't believe you are still reading this.
Are you still there?
I'm sure you've more important things to do...
We're almost there.
*This is the first and last time you'll be seeing me here in my bathrobe. Soak it up.
My grammie with my baby. 82 years difference.
Then began the week "in-between" - A.K.A. bathroom remodel week. Clark disappeared into the deep dark hole that is the ugly stepchild of our house floorplan, while I managed the kids.
Fish kiss for moi? MMMMMM - kay.
Then finally, it was time to ring out the old year... so I pulled Clark out of his purgatory for a night... told him to shower up and take me to a party so we could have fun and I could act like a total bufoon.
I call this one... "Vanna White takes photo in bathroom at 1am."
Once again, I wish you a very Happy New Year.
I'm never blogging again. This was the longest post in the history of mankind.
God help you if you are still here.
Seriously... go away.
I'm not even proofing this before I hit publish it's so bloody long.
First things first!
HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!
Been a little MIA over the past few days here. I've enjoyed a little holiday break. :)
On Friday I treated myself to some "happy place time" and hired our summertime babysitter - A.K.A. "Macho's girlfriend" MK to babysit, while I got down and dirty scrapbooking the day away. It was glorious, I tell you.
Then on Saturday night (New Years Eve) Clark took a break from his sledgehammering to join me for a late night grown up dinner at friends of ours. Eight adults sans kids total. Super fun. I wore my fake eyelashes and drank too much wine. :) And MK babysat again for us. The funniest moment of the night for me was trying really hard to write her out a check at 1:00 am. It looked like Macho wrote it. Tee hee.
On Sunday, after I ingested a moderate amount of ibuprofin and H20... I cooked enough pork and saurkraut to feed the hungry masses that would be stopping by our place. Including our Australian neighbors and their two kids, and my Aunt and Uncle and their three boys. Pork and saurkraut on New Years Day is a big tradition in my family. How about you guys? Do you do this?
My Aunt's oldest son, (though still much younger than me) is a nuclear engineer and has been on a Navy submarine since July. He was able to come home for Christmas but had to return to his deployment (he's stationed in Pearl Harbor) on January 2.
I cried when he left.
Other than those specific activities, I've been on 100% mom duty the past several days while Clark has been holed up in the bathroom remodel... We've been building forts, reading books, making snacks, going to the park playground, baths, diaper changes... the usual drill.
Oh yeah - and thanks to the remodeling situation - I was unable to do laundry for three and a half days. I went to throw some in and quickly realized that when Clark shut off the water to the bathroom - the washing machine was also nixxed.
Normally, I would've enjoyed this kind of forced hiatus, but I already had things pretty piled up, and Macho had just wet the bed that morning.
He wet OUR bed that morning. He likes to crawl in with us in the early hours and then go back to sleep for a bit until his favorite Disney cartoons come on....
So for three days I could do NO washing, nor any sleeping in my dust laden bed. I slept with Macho in his room (he has a queen size bed) and Clark slept on the couch. Meanwhile, I swear, nearly every article of clothing and bed or bath linen piled up all around us. It was frightening. Like being swallowed up by piles of dirty socks and sheets.
Come Sunday when I was finally back in business.... well - let's just say the washer has been running nonstop since - and I'm STILL digging myself out.
I recorded a video of the bathroom updates last night for ya - but when I went to upload it to VIMEO I was 50 megabytes over my weekly limit.
I've never done this many consecutive video posts so I didn't even realize there WAS a limit.
Luckily, the limit is a WEEKLY thing - and my week turns over today so you'll be seeing something tomorrow regarding our progress there.
Clark is back to his real job today after being off since the 23rd. What a nice time we all had together. I'm voting for him to take the week between Christmas and New Years off every year if possible. It sure did let me get into the rhythm of the holidays a bit more... rather than it feeling like just another weekend.
I have to include however, I vote NAY, on spending that week remodeling in the future. Not because he's not doing a killer job - but because the last 7days haven't felt like much of a vacation for either of us.
It had to get done at some point... and to try to do it over a slew of weekends would've just turned it into a several month job... and THAT DUST my friends - for THAT LONG - I simply could not handle.
We do what we have to do over here.
How was your New Year's weekend?
Oh - and because every post needs a cheesy photo or two - here are some I took in the bathroom mirror at roughly 2am on January 1... I came home, washed my face - took off my falsies - and then realized I forgot to do my traditional photo... You know the one... I used it for my 33@33 list...HERE.
I was silly tipsy when I took it.
Some folks dial... or text their friends... I get goofy with my camera.
I call this one - "Too far off the mark to qualify as "creative"."
I call this one, "Yes, you are ridiculous. And that's funny riiiiight there. And out of focus."
and finally this one called, "If you hold real real still. You might not tip over."
Happy New Year folks!
A few weeks ago, Clark and I toted the kids up to my brother's house where we celebrated a preliminary Christmas with their family as well as my parents.
The morning after we arrived, there was a light dusting of snow on the ground.
The boys ran upstairs, dressed themselves in my nephew's clothing, then came downstairs exclaiming it was now time to go outside... insisting they were appropriately dressed.
Liz and I thought about it for a second and decided - well - let's let them go.... they'll realize it's too cold out for shorts and come right back in. Lesson learned, right?
After asking for their coats, they went outside and were FULL ON. Eating snow... Macho even made an angel on the deck (crazy!) and then began the snowballs.
A quick catch of my camera to illustrate.
Boys will be boys.
And P.S. it was a good 30 minutes before they came back in. Little furnaces.
Have a nice Christmas?
I have lots to share - but I'm still in the process of digging myself out of the holiday clutter and still need to download my cards from my camera onto the computer.
Had to take my tree down yesterday. The needles were just dumping all over the floor if you dared even breathe on it. It had to go.
Macho got an amazingly awesome electric Polar Express train that he has been playing with pretty much nonstop since Christmas morning... so I had to move the little artificial tree from his bedroom to the living room so it would have something to circle around.
I knew our holiday decor would morph to the "Charlie Brown effect" sooner or later.
Clark also began the demo on the Master Bathroom yesterday. Shew. It's always a circus around here.
Hence - I'm starting to like this video thing. God save the iPhone and all the conveniences it brings!
Pardon the interruption during the commentary... I'm easily distracted. (Clark likes to remind me of this as often as possible.)
Plus, I'm a one-take chick. No do-overs. If I mess it up - I just keep going.
And yes, by all means, after you get done wasting a few spare moments of your lives watching the following clip - please come on back and tell my how totally retarded I am in the comment section.