Sunday, January 30, 2011

Beat the January Blues!

We had a really big day!  If you have been reading my blog lately then you may have gathered I'm not a fan of snow.  I'm just not.  As an adult and a working mom, the snow has become a nuisance and an inconvenience.  It's fun to play and sled in initially but a day or two in of good snow cover just gets under my skin.  The kids can't go to school, schedules get demolished, and cabin fever sets in quick.

I was determined to beat the winter blues today.  We began with lunch and playtime at McDonald's.  For the boys it was more like a run-by-snacking than lunch. I enjoyed a huge coffee and snapped a few photos.



Having sufficiently worn out the boys it was then safe to proceed to our local Super Target for the weeks grocery shopping.  The boys were a dream.  It was actually an enjoyable grocery shopping trip (as enjoyable as grocery shopping can be, because we all know it sucks).

I don't remember where I came up with the idea but as we were driving home I thought what fun a trip to the indoor pool would be....


I'm a genius:)

These pictures just prove to me that my boys are meant to live near the water, where it's nice and warm. Summer will be hear before we know it...I hope.

After 2 hours at the pool we came home to relax and eat dinner. Muffin fell asleep on the couch. I wanted to hold my arms up in the air and scream "Touchdown"! For me, one of my kids falling asleep, especially Muffin, is just like complete Mommy success...I wore him out, finally!

It was a great, great day.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Teeny Tiny Little Legos

I love watching Puck really enjoy something.  Here he is putting together a Lego set he got for Christmas.  He's never been interested in Lego's before.  He handled the tiny pieces like a pro and followed the directions amazingly well.  I'm happy to take credit for the ice-cube-tray-organizer.  Together, we are brilliant:) 

I love you Puck!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Picture Schedule

Muffin's therapists have suggested that I start using a picture schedule at home to help him through transitions from one activity to the next.  Picture schedules are used for children in all levels of development but are particularly helpful for children with Sensory Processing Disorder, children with Speech/Language Delays, and children on the Autism Spectrum. 

I've been a little hesitant to start, thinking that it had to be perfect.  Well, it' doesn't.  I can make it anyway that will work best for Muffin.  I've decided to make a schedule for each part of his day.

Morning (non-school day)
Morning (school day)
Afternoon
Evening

Here is a sample of Muffins Morning at Home schedule.

Muffin isn't non-verbal so his schedule can be fairly general to meet our needs.  I don't need to spell out every detail of his day, just steer him in a forward direction.  He needs to know that he gets to eat breakfast and watch some TV before we brush his teeth and get dressed to play and enjoy the rest of the day.  If he gets "stuck" on a certain activity, all I have to say is, 'What's Next?"  He LOVES to find out what is next.  Now moving forward is exciting and not disappointing.  We used a picture schedule this evening and he really enjoyed finishing each activity (and telling me all about it)!

I was able to find FREE printable icons at Do2Learn as well as other activity ideas to do with your little ones.  There are icons for just about everything you can imagine.  Your schedule can be as basic or as detailed as your child needs. 

Happy Scheduling!

Fix-It-Friday #84

Here is this weeks I Heart Faces Fix-It-Friday entry!  Click HERE to see the other edits.



SOOC - Original FIF Photo









My CS4 edit, curves & levels, unsharp mask, color balance, & crop! Also removed the drool and bubbles from her chin:)


Thursday, January 27, 2011

Color Balance

I was grumpy today (because I hate snow)...so my husband brought me flowers home when he ran out to the store to pick up some milk:) 

I had to photograph them, but it was really dark in my kitchen.  I used my light scoop and shot this image with my 85mm 1.8 at 1600 ISO.  The vase was sitting on my kitchen island with the closed wooden window blinds in the background...

SOOC

I didn't like how "brown" the image was.  So I adjusted the color balance....

After color balance adjustments.

Almost looks like it could have been taken outside, don't you think?

Snow Day {Wordless}




Wednesday, January 26, 2011

I'm Over Snow

I don't think I've recovered from all the snow that fell last winter.  I'm ready to pack my bags and move south...

Just as the snow started to fall this afternoon...

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Out-Of-Sync Child by Carol Kranowitz {SPD}

If you have been going through early intervention screenings with your little one then you have probably already heard of this book.

It's all about Sensory Processing Disorder.  While I am reading through it I find myself nodding my head in agreement and thinking, "Wow, that's my son!"

I've picked it up again and thought  a refresher of the concepts would be good.  The most recent person that evaluated Muffin suggested  I go see Carol Kranowitz speak in person.  I didn't even know she did that, but she does and if you go to her website HERE and click on events you can see where she will be and what topics are being discussed.  Her speaking engagements are geared towards, therapists, educators, and parents. 

I'm ecstatic and can't wait.  I am personally more of an auditory learning so listening to her speak will be a lot more valuable for me than reading the book over and over again.

...

Over the next 2 weeks I will be developing a Sensory Diet for Muffin so stay tuned for fun sensory activities to do with your little ones:)

Monday, January 24, 2011

35

It's my birthday today.  I remember all those milestone birthdays...

Turning 16.  My parents threw me a huge surprise party and all my friends were there.  I can't believe that everyone kept the secret.  I remember thinking how disappointed I was at school because it felt like everyone forgot it was my birthday.  My parents even took me out to dinner.  When the Chi Chi's waiters plopped a sombrero on my head I felt like crying because it was the first time all day I felt like it was my birthday.  I got to drive the family home with my new drivers license.  I'll never forget that moment of walking through the foyer and hearing and seeing everyone jump up and yell, "SURPRISE!"  I screamed and ran back out.  Once I recovered from the shock it turned out to be a wonderful party.  It was one of the best birthdays and I'll never forget it.

Turning 21.  Don't remember too much.  Drank too much...I'm sure you can figure out the rest.

Turning 25.  I had a nice adult dinner out.

Turning 35.  Beautiful lunch with those that I care about the most.  We celebrated yesterday and you know what?  This lunch included a Sombrero yielding bunch of waiters singing as well...

I feel lucky to be 35.  I feel lucky to have my 2 sons.  I am comfortable with who I am.  Yes, I wish I was thinner and I wish I made more money but for now I'm happy and I'm looking forward to what lies in between now and 40.

My surprise cake, delivered by my 3 guys tonight:)

*To see a great collage of Muffin finger painting (great Sensory Activity) click HERE!

Finger Painting Fun - Collage



Oh what fun my little man had...

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Self Portrait - Collage

I love the mix of the Black & White image positioned next the color image.  Yes, and I'm still in love with the collage!!!  In honor of my 35th birthday tomorrow this self-portrait shows only the parts that don't make me LOOK 35...I hope;)



Stylish Blogger Award

I'm a little late on accepting this but better late than never, right?  I received this award from 3 people in the same week!  As always, knowing that people enjoy reading my blog makes me feel good to be sharing all my craziness with you.  Thank you so much Debbie from Becoming an Ex-Yo-Yo Dieter , Staying Above the Water , and Ashley at {These Days} .


To accept this award, you must do the following...

A - Thank the person who awarded you. (see above:)

B- Share seven things about myself .
  1. I'm not a girlie-girl and never have been.   
  2. I get my hair cut about one every 2 years.
  3. My current wardrobe is almost exclusively from Target and Old Navy.  Sigh...
  4. My favorite pair of shoes are silver flats with a buckle on the toe and I would be happy if they were the last pair I ever wore.  They go with EVERYTHING.
  5. Monday is my 35th Birthday!  Ahhhh!
  6. I've been married for 10 years this February.  A decade, wow!
  7. I drive a Prius and get 45 miles to the gallon, jealous?
C- Pass along our "stylishness" by awarding the award to 15 other bloggers, and then let them know I did it!  *I am not going to pass this award along yet.  I want to think about who to award while I'm reading all the amazing blogs I follow and will pass out a few at a time.  It might be you....

Saturday, January 22, 2011

The "Sunshine" Photos

I had exactly the day I'd hoped for:)

Collage Action

So maybe it's cheating and I'm still figuring out how to use it but...

I made this collage using an Action Set from Jean Smith Photography

Puck & Muffrin:)

This morning when I asked my 6 year old to smile he gave me the biggest, fake smile I have ever seen!  That's in true Kindergarten fashion so I chose this shot with the smirk;)
Curves, Levels, Unsharp Make, Surface Blue


My 3 year old who used to run from my camera will ask me to take his picture whenever he sees it!  What a change.  Nothing like a supertight shot to hide his airplane PJ's and bedhead!  Good Morning:)
Curves, Levels, Unsharp Make, Surface Blue, Saturation, Photo Filter (Warming)

Let the Sun Shine

It's been an emotional week for me with all this stuff that's going on with Muffin.  So today, no matter what, I'm going to let the sun shine on us, even if it's 20 degrees outside. 

We're going to get the camera out an take some photos for my 365 project!

We're going to water all the plants, walk the dog, and throw in some laundry.  It's going to be a totally relaxing but productive day.

The boys both have playdates scheduled.  We are doing a sibling swap with some neighbors down the street.  I'm taking the 3 year olds and she is taking the 6 year olds.  It will be Muffins 1st playdate, since he has always had a standing date with his loving and willing brother, Puck. 

To all my readers that comment and send there word of support, thank you 100 times.  It's truly appreciated!

Friday, January 21, 2011

A Letter to Muffin

Dear Muffin,


I can’t believe you will be four years old in less than a month. I remember the day you came home from the hospital, like it was yesterday. Snow and ice covered the ground. I was so nervous your daddy would slide off the road on the way home, but we made it safe and sound. After only a few hours at home we lost power (and heat) and thought we may have to leave and warm up at Mimi’s house. Luckily, the fireplace kept us warm until power was restored.

It was a rough first day at home for you. Blake was still a baby himself and although excited to hug and kiss you he just as readily head butted you too. That would be the beginning of a very “hands on” relationship with your brother. It seems you two are constantly touching, jumping, running, climbing, smacking, and attacking each other! 99% of the time though you are both loving it and going back for more. It brings us such joy to see how close you two are.


As a baby you always wanted me, and only me. Getting a shower was even a challenge. You would scream and cry the entire time I wasn’t with you. Sometimes I would have to sneak out of the house to run to the store or go to work. It always broke my heart.


Once you started preschool you cried every single day we dropped you off until the very last week of school. This year you seem truly excited to be going to school. I love to watch you walking in with your Toy Story hat and Buzz Lightyear backpack.


You are in Speech Therapy to help you catch up after hearing loss caused by too much fluid build up in your ears. Tubes solved that! You don’t ask us to turn the TV up anymore. You have finally begun to speak in sentences and it’s so exciting to hear. I worry about you all the time and wonder if you’ll catch up to your peers. I pray I am doing everything I can to help you along.


You hardly eat anything. Cream cheese on waffles, Nutrigrain Cereal Bars, Yogurt, and Cheerios is about it. We are actually taking you to a feeding specialist to help us increase the types, textures, and tastes that are in your diet.


You are a sound sleeper, thank goodness. It makes up for all that non-stop running and jumping you do with your big brother Blake. Blake adores you, by the way. You literally fall asleep in less than 5 minutes. You just plain wear yourself out!


You always know exactly what you want. What TV shows to watch, what you want to eat, and especially what you want to wear. You have got to be one of the most particular children in the world. You LOVE your Wall-e t-shirts. Luckily we have 2 of them and everyday it’s a struggle to get you to wear anything else. You now understand how the washer and dryer work and ask me constantly if I’m washing your Wall-e shirts for you. If you can’t find it in the hamper we will surely find you pulling out all the clean clothes from the dryer onto the floor in search of your precious Wall-e tee's.


I’m sad that your time as a Tot is coming to an end. I love being your mommy and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for you and who you will become.

Love,

Mama

Thursday, January 20, 2011

PDD and PDD-NOS {Autism}

According to Wikipedia, the definition of PDD-NOS is as follows:

"Pervasive Developmental Disorder - Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS) is a pervasive developmental disorder (PDD)/autism spectrum disorder (ASD). PDD-NOS is one of three forms of Autism Spectrum Disorders. PDD-NOS is often referred to as atypical autism. It lies in between the less severe Asperger’s syndrome, and more severe, typical Autism on the Autism Spectrum. "

According to Wikipedia, the definition of PDD is as follows:


The diagnostic category pervasive developmental disorders (PDD), as opposed to specific developmental disorders (SDD), refers to a group of five disorders characterized by delays in the development of multiple basic functions including socialization and communication that have traditionally been referred to as Autism.
Parents may note symptoms of PDD as early as infancy and typically onset is prior to three years of age. PDD itself does not affect life expectancy.




Can someone explain the difference between PDD and PDD-NOS to me?  

Has your child been diagnosed with this?




I feel like no one wants to tell me what's going on.  One of the Speech Therapists even said they aren't supposed to even hint at a diagnosis.  I asked 2 people today if my son could be on the spectrum and not one of them said no.  Over the past 2 years I've seen a regular pediatrician, a developmental pediatrician, 4 speech therapists, 1 occupational therapist, and 1 feeding specialist.

So why don't I have more information?  All these professionals and not one person can tell me definitively that he does or does NOT have some form of Autism.  I hate subjecting him to all these evaluations and specialists.  I feel like I'm running in place.

At least he will be getting speech therapy in the meantime.  I know it will help, I just don't think it's his primary issue.

Muffin fell asleep on the couch after his 3 evaluations today.  He never NAPS, ever...
I don't want to feel like I'm always pushing and fighting.  I  just want someone to tell me what their "professional" opinion is.  Please help Muffin.

If you know anything about PDD and the diagnosis or know of a great place to get more information, please comment or e-mail me.  Muffin had his 4 year well check next month, I guess I'll be talking to the Pediatrician again.







Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Teacher's Eval of Muffin

Tomorrow is the first of 2 evaluations Muffin will have with the county...finally.  The poor little man will also have an additional speech evaluation and a feeding evaluation with a Private Therapy group in the afternoon.   To read about why we need a new Private Therapy Group read HERE.  The good news is, they are willing to accept our $25 copay.  Since any new appointments will be at the $75 copay, we have to find another provider...we just can't afford that.  The reason for the higher copay was due to the fact that the practice was owned by a hospital and not a physician. 

Anyway, that means he's got 3 therapy evaluations in one day...

I've taken the day off in order to coordinate this.

Part of the County's eval and the reason for this post is the questionnaire that I received back from Muffin's teacher.

It really took me by surprise when I read the questionnaire at just how extensive his SPD and speech issues impact his day in school, not to mention his fellow classmates.

He can't do what the other kids can....here are some quotes from the 4 page document I received from his preschool teacher...

"he does not talk with anyone or even acknowledge anyone else, unless they move into his area of play, then he will use his body to push them out of his area, or mess up toys by using his feet and hands to push them around..."

"he does not seem to have the social skills necessary to move in and out of play situations..."

"he is the kid in class that knocks down the block towers of others, steps on the book that someone else was looking at, pushes in between kids to get into line..."


and it just goes on and on and on...

It's hard to read. 

One thing really sticks out at me in the document and that is the number of time "Sensory" issues comes up.

I'm feeling good that we are moving forward but it doesn't make knowing these things any easier.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I am pleased to announce that I was nominated for an SPD Blogger Award under the Awesome Category.  I hope telling my stories about Muffin helps other families out there and this makes me feel like maybe it does.  If you have a chance, please vote for me HERE. Thank You:)

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

They Grow So Fast...

...and you know it's true.  Life in this age and time of technology, long commutes, and 2 working parents, goes at break neck speed.  It's all buzzing by so fast that I know I'm about to blink and then it will be over.  I've been thinking about this for weeks...how do I hold on to all these memories?  As much as I'd like to think I won't forget, I know that I will.  New memories always seem to push older ones out of the way.

So my dilemma is:  How to REMEMBER this life of mine with these 2 amazing little boys?  Luckily, we are avid photo takers.  It's pretty safe to say that we take photos of the boys just about everyday.

But.

I want to remember what they say, what they wear, all the crazy, and all the love.  Like this...

One of these paws will certainly make the Project Life book!
Puck has decorated his bedroom door with "Paws" his school symbol and everyone's names.  He did this completely by himself.  He wrote all of our names, colored the pictures, tore the paper, and taped them up.  He was so proud that he made us walk up the stairs with our eyes closed to see what he "worked so hard on".  He said, "You're going to LOVE it!"

...and I do.

So how do you capture your life, all those memories...

I'm going to try to create a Project Life.  If you are curious about what this really means you can check out Ali Edwards site by clicking HERE.  What I like about this kind of project is that it is ongoing and incorporates more than just photos but thoughts, reactions, and souvenirs of day-to-day life!

I plan to write each of my sons a letter to include in the binder to get started and go from there.  I love that I can use any element that I find interesting and I'm not stuck with only one medium.  I can journal by hand, scrap, print photos, add movie tickets or whatever fun is happening in our family.  I'll show you my first few pages when I get them done.

I hope they will become cherished memories for our family.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Digital Scrapbooking

I thought I would make an attempt at this.  Considering I have to use Photoshop CS4 makes it even more of a challenge for me.  I love the idea of being able to make pages and journal about what's going on in our lives.  We have 15,000 + photos stored on our computer...yeah really! 

Here is my first "test" digital scrapbook page.  Not bad for my first attempt.  I used freebies from http://freedigitalscrapbooking.com/  in case you want to try one too!  I find this to be lots more fun than cutting out actual paper and using real glue...


You can print your "scrapbook" through Shutterfly.  I might be hooked...Hubs has been eyeing me all night wondering what the heck has glued me to the computer;)

Glowing Edges

I took this really boring photo of my boys playing with iPads.  I love how their feet look!  To create this all I did was select filter, Glowing Edges! 

Filter: Glowing Edges

So Far So Good

OK. I'm down 8 pounds! I consider this REAL progress on my part and can already fit into a pair of jeans that didn't fit 3 weeks ago. I have to keep reminding myself that slow and steady wins the race.

Last night we hit our favorite burger joint to fuel up on some fat. It was the best tasting hamburger I can remember eating, ever!

I have to start increasing cardio sessions too which honestly, I'm dreading. I wish Yoga was enough...sigh.

Time to dust off that old treadmill since it's the coldest January in decades here...brrrr!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Friday Night Leftovers, yep... on Sunday




  • I think there are way too many school holidays.  Especially on Mondays because that is my day off.  It's nice to have 3 hours to myself once in a while.  I have found Mondays to be the busiest days of the week.  There is always something happening on a Monday.  Next Monday is my birthday.  I was planning on a private mani/pedi session until the county finally called about evaluating Muffin.  Of coarse he gets priority.  Happy Birthday to me;
  • The Laundry situation in my house has reached an all time high level of Out-Of-Controlness.  Shiver....  It is seriously horrific.  Period.
  • I am happy to report that I've lost 8 pounds so this calorie counting thing is working.  Now I need to crank up the exercise...I don't like exercising.
  • Muffin doesn't want to wear anything but his Wall-e T-shirts, day and night.  It's becoming a bit of a problem.  Not sure how much to force the situation with him about wearing other things.
  • Still haven't had any alcohol since New Years Eve, yeah me.  I bet my liver is thanking me and just think about all those empty calories I'm not consuming either!!!
  • Can't shake that baby feeling...maybe it's my age, who knows.  Not sure Hubs will ever go for it but I think I would always regret not trying later in life.
Go get your helping of Leftovers at Danifred's Place.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Sepia

Another from the series of my son in his favorite hat, this time with a little Sepia...

Friday, January 14, 2011

Fertility at 35

My first son was born when I was 29 and my second at 31.  I think the timing was right for me, not too young, not too old...

I'll be 35 next week and I'm not sure if I'm done having children yet.  I just can't shake this feeling that I'm supposed to do this one more time.

6 mos old Muffin and 3 year old Puck
I realize my time is running out and could very well be over with out my knowledge anyway.  Someone said something to me today about having children at 35...35 too old?  Really, is it?  I realize this is a very personal decision and that woman have children well into there 40's and even 50's.   I was surprised when I heard that commercial on the radio to donate eggs...and I was too old (not that I would consider donating my eggs, that's not for me either, but still...)

I would be lying if I didn't admit that I would love to have a little girl the 3rd time around.   That doesn't mean I wouldn't love a boy too.  I do love boys:)

I think I could do it better this time.  I think I still have more to give and I think Puck and Muffin would enjoy being big brothers.  Puck doesn' even remember when Muffin was born, he was practically still a baby himself, still in diapers and sleeping in a crib!  Puck said to me tonight, "How do babies get in your tummy?"

eeek!

I told him Jesus puts them there so we would have to pray a whole lot.  You know what he did?  He prayed!  "Dear God, Please put a baby in mommy's tummy, a girl one.  I'm asking really nice, ok?"

I asked him what would he do with a girl, would he play dolls with her?  He replied that, "Yes, " he would because he is the big brother!

Well that's just too freaking cute.  I told him he better keep praying.

Hubs was begging me for a 3rd baby a year and a half ago and I didn't want anything to do with that idea.  Now the tables have turned but I think he may be coming around.  We'll see.

Maybe I should say a little prayer too.

PS:  You've got to click HERE to see what my youngest looks like now.  He'll be four next month!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Minor Adjustments

I'm really excited about this one...but I wish I could really touch up those dry cheeks...maybe next time.  I haven't touched the eyes on these.

Surface Blur, Unsharp Mask, Curves, Levels, Vibrance

And the Black & White

Surface Blur, Unsharp Mask, Curves, Levels, Vibrance & Black & White

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Yoga & Calories

I can't believe how great I am doing following my calorie counting plan. Truth be told, I feel better already.

I don't weigh myself daily anymore...the fluctuations just created frustration for me and eventually discouragement.

I'm looking forward to my weigh-in on Friday, hoping for a little progress.

I am in control and feel empowered to shape my body in any way I want.

Loved tonight's Yoga class. After a year long hiatus and a return to Yoga 3 weeks ago, I'm starting to feel my body falling into the poses more easily again:)

Namaste...

When I Grow Up...

Do you remember back to your childhood when adults asked you all the time, "What do you want to be when you grow up?"

Most kids usually answer...

dancer
princess
fireman
doctor
veterinarian
Darth Vader

you know, the obvious professions.

The only written proof I have of my dreams is from elementary school when somewhere along the way I decided I wanted to be a "heart doctor".  Turns out you need to be REALLY good at math to be a doctor, so it just wasn't in the cards for me.  I suck at Math.

Fast forward to college.  I started out as a Communications major because I wanted to be nothing but...

wait for it...

a TV News Anchor.  Yep.

Image From : http://www.betadaily.com/2010/03/08/how-to-become-a-yoga-instructor/
By Sophomore year I had changed to an Art History major because well, I liked Monet.  After hours and hours of time spent in a dark lecture hall at 7:30 AM looking at slide after slide of ancient cave drawings I was left wondering, "When are we getting to Monet?"

Insert a yawn and a nap here...Zzzzz

By my junior year I decided I wanted to save the world and changed my major for the final time to International Studies.  Why you ask?  Well so I could live in Paris, France, where else???  Turns out Foreign Service Officers usually get posted in 3rd world countries.  Oh, my bad.

I graduated with a degree in International Studies and I ended up selling high-end plumbing fixtures.  Yep, plumbing!  Hand painted toilets, I sold 'em.  Gold Faucets, you got it.

By some fluke I ended up with a full-time photographer job and I've been doing that for over 10 years.

If I could go back in time with the experiences that I've had.  I would tell little naive college co-ed, me, to reconsider.

I would tell myself no matter what get a business degree....You can do ANYTHING with a business degree.

I would tell myself that my top three careers to investigate would be...

Speech Pathologist
Lactation Consultant
Yoga Instructor

Now if I could just get myself to listen to me I could have taken that business degree and begun a successful business in any of those three fields.
But I didn't know any better.

Good thing I like photography.

What do you want to be when you grow up?


Do you Tweet?

I want to make sure I'm tweeting with my favorite people! Scroll down and click on my Twitter birdy! Follow me and I'll follow you back:)

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- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, January 10, 2011

Still Going

I'm in week 2 of my calorie count and I'm so happy with my progress and commitment to my health, my body, my soul...

I feel good.

No alcohol in 10 days! Woo Hoo, that alone is a ton of calories I am NOT consuming. And honestly, I don't even miss the wine in the evenings.

I've upped my water in-take and continue to log my calorie intake into Spark People.

Yoga and Power Walking is what's working for me right now.

Slow and steady wins the race:)

Sensory Activity - Rice Bowl

Here is what Muffin and I did today!  He had so much fun hiding and finding the animals in the rice.  His preschool teacher suggested this activity for him since he enjoys it so much at school.  I am going to find a larger and more shallow container for him to make the play area a little larger.  I also plan on having a few different kinds of objects to hide in the rice so it's not always the same....

If you have a Sensory Seeker in your home and haven't tried this, you should.  I was surprised to find that Playdoe makes more of a mess than this did!








Sunday, January 9, 2011

Not a Good Day

Today was not a good day.  It started off bad and continued to head in the wrong direction the entire day.  The boys, particularly Puck, were not listening and doing too much misbehaving for the limited amount of patients I had in me today.

I can't figure out what the shift is here, but things have certainly shifted in a different direction.  What happens to little boys when they turn 6?  I can't figure out if I'm mad or if my feelings are just hurt.  I know for certain that I am frustrated.

What happened to my Puck?

I am having a big problem with him listening and what's worse, respect.  That's right, R.E.S.P.E.C.T. 

He is in the mode where he is determined to do what HE wants at all costs. 

And it's driving me up the freakin' wall!

I love my son.

Puck in the hospital a day after his birth.
I remember the second I laid eyes on him and how shocked I was at how big he was (9lbs, 7oz).  I remember when it was just him and me on maternity leave all that time ago.  I remember talking to him all day as if he could understand what I was saying.  I remember being afraid to bathe him, for fear he would slip under the water.  Hubs did all the bathing the first month or so...
I remember rocking him and nursing him on cold winter nights in a dark and silent house while watching out the window at the half built homes that were going up all around us.
I remember the last time I stuffed him in the infant car seat and he was so big I knew it would be the last time. I remember carrying him on my hip...and I think that's what I miss the most.  That, or maybe how he used to say, "Up on Mama!" when he wanted me to pick him up.  I remember applesauce, first steps, and exploding diapers...

Now here is this big kid, with a big kids hair cut, and big feet.  I missed the change.  I missed when he ceased being a toddler and became, a kid?

I don't want to be at odds with him until he turns 18. He's only 6... I hope this is a phase.  I hope I can get through it and still be a good parent to him.   I miss my baby and it makes my heart ache.

Blog Progress

OK, so the new design is up.  I think I like it.  I can't decide if I want to get rid of the cheerios background and just go with a nice patterned yellow...but we'll see.  The updated blogger template designer really does have tons of options that can be manipulated to suit your wishes.

When you click on the tabs to "Weigh Loss" and "Photography" you will see links to my other blogs.  This will work temporarily.  What I REALLY want is for the tab to pull all posts tagged as "Photography", etc.  As far as blog design and HTML this is way over my head so I'm hoping someone will be able to help me out.  Then, I would be able to delete the other stand alone blogs all together.

To make the banner I used Picnik (Thanks Danifred) it was the quickest most simplest way to get the job done.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Blog Identity Crisis

I'm having one.  I have 3 blogs...one for mommy stuff, 1 for photography, and 1 for weightloss.  It's too much for me to keep up with 3 blogs.  I also have a professional one for my business under my real name.  That makes 4 blogs! 

I think I need to combine them all under one blog/name.  I've discovered through my blog land adventures that I am not the only Stepping On Cheerios.  I was bummed out to discover this.  There are 2 others that I have found which render me completely unoriginal.

So, I want to combine the 3 blogs under one title.  If you know me and like reading my blog than you should be getting the whole story, right?

I guess that means I'll be doing some re-decorating.  Does anyone have any tips for managing 3 topics under one blog name? 

Should I keep the Cheerios or incorporate my newest blog name, "Widening My Aperture"?

I trust you ladies and would love to hear your thoughts on the subject.  What's working for you and what would you like to see here???

Please help!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Fun With Filters {Grain}

Quick shot of my Muffin in the background playing with Playdoe. It's hard to get any decent shots when I'm taking them at night. Need to take more shots on the weekend so I'll have them all ready for the editing sessions. Anyway, it's not that exciting but here is my edit using the Grain Filter.
SOOC  



Grain Filter