Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Wordless Wednesday: Last Weekend at the Zoo


Check out other Wordless Wednesday Participants here and here.

For those just popping in, my blog is about raising my three sons,
two of whom are twins who just started their terrible twos,
and the crazyness that comes with all of that.
It's also about my love for photography, photoshop,and the sweet life.I grew up in Findlay, Ohio and now live in San Diego with my family.If that sounds at all interesting, bookmark me and stop by again sometime!
I know... yer busy WW-hopping right now.
Me too!

Monday, January 28, 2008

Waxing Nostalgic

Sometimes, just when you are about to give up hope, life swings in your favor.

I was 29 years old, panicking about turning thirty. I didn't have the kind of dating history to give one much hope of just running into the man of my dreams anytime soon. I was considering, you know... lowering my standards.

And then I remembered one of the greatest things I learned from a past relationship... that thoughts are things. Call it prayer, call it meditation, call it wishing, call it what you will. But thoughts have power and you can use it.

So, I sat down one day on my couch, I closed my eyes, I breathed deeply, and I started designing him.

He would be kind, he would be dark-eyed and dark haired. He would have goals but they wouldn't take him from his family. He would be manly, but not consumed by "guy things". He would be great with kids; he would be great with other people, he would be great with me.

I could wear high heels and he would still be taller than me.

He would be willing to clean the house at times, pick up after himself, and know how to do a load of laundry. He would cook great food, and enjoy doing it. He would know how to fix cars and computers, but still like to see a good "chick flick". He would enjoy going to the theater. He would like the same music I liked.

He would put up with my foibles.

He would like words like... "foibles".

I went on and on, describing the man of my dreams to the universe, to God, to Spirit, to Whoever Listens. And then I asked for that man to come into my life.

And soon.

Two weeks later, my roommate dragged me to cheesy dance club, and a tall, dark, handsome man kept looking over at me. I was astounded when he came over and asked me to dance. And later, for my phone number. His name was Clint and he was an architect!! We dated for two glorious weeks before he sat me down on that same couch and told me that he thought I was really great but he also liked this other girl, Nancy, and that he didn't feel comfortable dating two girls at the same time, and well, he was picking Nancy.

Have at it, Nancy!

He left and I went back to the couch. I sat down again, breathed a little more raggedy than before, and spilled out my list again to the universe. And then I added, "and please let him love me more than any other girl in the world!"

And I waited.

Two weeks later, my roommate dragged me off to the same cheesy dance club. I dreaded running into Clint there. Some friends from work came, and our mutual friend, Jason, also brought along his roommate, Michael, whom I had never met. And he was damned good looking. We both ordered the same drink, (WATER!) and laughed about it. When everyone was dancing, he asked if I wanted to go outside where it was a bit quieter.

I did. Very much so.

We both admitted that we preferred coffeehouses to bars, and it turned out we both frequented the same coffeehouse! In fact, as we told each other about ourselves, there was a repeated chorus of "me too!!", over and over again.

A day later, he called and asked me out to our favorite coffeehouse. It was our first date. We sat out on the patio, drinking mochas under the strings of lights that night. When the place closed, they told us we could stay there and talk. When the last employee left, he turned off the twinkle lights, and still we stayed and talked.

As he told me about himself, I kept making mental notes. Dark hair, dark eyes, check. Likes kids, check. Can fix a computer, check. He wants to be a doctor?? Has goals... check! Tall enough, check. Likes to cook, CHECK!!

And the litany of "me too's" continued, showing us how much we had in common.

I think he walked me to my car around 3am. There he gave me an awesome kiss good night.

Check.

We have been together ever since. Unless you count those four years he spent in Yugoslavia going to Med School. Yeah, that was no walk in the park, but we still considered ourselves "together".

On a trip home between semesters, he surprised me with a weekend at a bed and breakfast in Julian, CA. Neither of us had spent much time in San Diego, and never dreamed we would end up here, but we came down for this vacation together. It was a lovely place... not the kind of B&B with lace and painted wooden duckies, white wicker and light blue quilts (not that there is anything wrong with that) but our style... dark wood, red velvet Victorian settees, candles and rich colors all around.

One night, while I was taking a rare, luxurious, bubble bath (he had even brought in candles to make it more soothing and romantic), he came in, sat down by the tub, talked a bit. Stammered a bit...

And then he asked me if I would marry him.

(Talk about vulnerable! I was in the tub!!)

I, of course, said yes. He got a little wet, what with all the hugging and crying that ensued.


That bath??

That was ten years ago, today. And I still feel like a giddy girl on her first date whenever I think of him.

I love you, Honey.

Happy Anniversary.

Hear Ye, Hear Ye!! Let the Madness Ensue!!

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It's Giveaway Time again in Blogland!

Shannon, over at Bloggy Giveaways has done it again, hosting the greatest blog carnival around. Hundreds of bloggers will be doing giveaways, trying to drum up a little interest in their blogs.

For my giveaway, I am offering up two pair of earrings that I made recently! I was going to give both to one winner, but since some folks enter a bazillion giveaways and win not a thing, I decided to spread the love and give each pair to different winners!

If you have a preference, please state it in your comment, and I will attempt to accomodate, but can't guarantee you will get your choice!

Here's the goods:


Each of two winners will receive one pair of earrings. Both are made with stone beads, pewter accents and sterling silver ear findings. If you have a preference toward one pair, I will try to accomodate, with the first winner getting their choice, and the second drawn to get the other. If the first drawn has no preference, the second drawn will get hers. (Or his, as it were.)


Pair number one is a bright golden brown bead with black ribbons through it, a mustard colored stone and pewter diamond-shaped bead.

The second is a rich burgundy (darker than shown) with black ribbons through it, an onyx oval and pewter bead caps.

I know most of you are just popping in for a moment to comment and will be off in a flash to enter more giveaways, but...


...let me tell you what my blog is about so if it sounds interesting, you can bookmark it and come back later!

I am a mother of three boys, two of which are twins in their terrible twos. I am from Ohio, live in San Diego with my sweet hubby, who is a very patient and tolerant man!

I used to work in stage management in professional theater, but now am a stay at home mom who is learning how to excel at light sabre battles and make Rube Goldberg machines with my sons. I love photography, Photoshop, and have just begun to design my own jewelry!




HOW THE GIVEAWAY WORKS:

1) Leave a comment (and only one!) on this post, any comment at all! (okay, rudeness will be deleted!)

2) Sometime on Sunday, Feb. 3rd, using random.org, I will draw two winners from the comments I receive and post the winners names on this page. I will also contact the winners via email. Please make sure you include your email address if I cannot find it in your profile.

3) If I cannot contact a winner by Feb 7th, I will draw another name.

4) Shipping costs will be covered by me (only to addresses in the US).

5) Once you’ve posted a comment, be sure to visit Bloggy Giveaways to check out the other giveaways going on this week!

HAVE FUN this week, and good luck!!!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Excuses and a Whole 'Nuther Distraction


Didja miss me?

Yeah, yeah, I know. It’s been forever since I posted, and the last thing people want to read after a dry spell is a bunch of excuses. But I have some good ones, I DO!!

First off, my parents came and visited for 10 days. We did a whirlwind of touristy activities, giving San Diego a run for her money. Luckily, we loaded the big ticket items at the front end of the trip; what with the sporadic rains we had leading up to this weekend’s big storms.

I usually do my blogging at night after everyone goes to bed, but the computer area shares space with the guest-sleeping area here, and while I felt free to read nearby sleeping folk at night, rapping at the keyboard seemed right out. So, posting was kept to a minimum.

And then there is the other thing that has consumed me lately…

…my new mistress! (Can a straight girl have a mistress?)

Actually its more than one thing I have fallen deeply for, so maybe “my new playgroup” is a more accurate metaphor!

I speak of my love for all things digital that have come into my life lately… I have been set up by generous gifts all around… my new Canon Digital Rebel XTi, my super-narrow depth of field lens that makes me feel all squishy inside, and my update to the latest Photoshop combined with the super-awesome Lightroom program which is a database for professional photographers (which I am not) to help them get organized (which I try to be) and manage their “workflow” (a fun new term I learned while trying to learn how to work the damned thing).

Lightroom absolutely rocks my socks off. It imports photos, renames them to however I have set it up, moves them to where I want them to live, does simple and more than simple processing of one or whole sets of pics at the same time, allows you to flag pictures as “picks” or as “rejected” or rate them by numbers of stars, or by color, allows you to imprint metadata (copywrite info, my phone number, etc) on each photo, set up sets of photos, allowing one photo to be in more than one collection at a time without having to make a copy of it, arranges slide shows, AND!! AND!!! I got a plugin which allows me to send a photo to my flickr site with one click!

It basically rocks.

Oh, I said that, didn’t I?

Did I mention, though, that it rocks?

But the problem is that it is a fairly complex program and is not all that intuitive. So with much of my free time, I have been watching video tutorials and reading Lightroom blogs, and trying to find answers to my questions.

And this all went on while I was wandering all over San Diego, taking a million different photos with my new camera and lens, creating a huge backlog of photos which I didn’t want to import until I had a new system in place, folders and hierarchies set up, and such, in which to receive and welcome my new digital creations!!

And so, instead of posting all the glorious fun we have been having, I have been reading technical drivel.

But wait! All is not lost!

The folders are now in place! The perfect naming scheme has been devised! The doors have been thrown wide open and the red ribbon has been cut!!

Whoo-hoo!!! NO MORE WAITING!!

Glorious Blog Posts with New Fantastical Images, HERE I COME!!!

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Huh?



What’s that?



Photobucket


Oh Lordy, is it really THAT time of year already!??

OOOH, its Bloggy Giveaway Time, baby!! And you know what that means, don’t ya?

YEAH!

It’s ANOTHER week of not making any new blog posts because I am spending every free moment I have entering the literally HUNDREDS of giveaways held by bloggers around the blogosphere!

So, um, bear with me one more week, and I will be back to my regularly scheduled blogging, with all those fascinating updates about our lives that you guys live for. And I might even have a giveaway of my very own!! So stand by me. I shall return.

I swear.

Pinky swear!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Where Have All the Blog Posts Gone?

Oooh, it's been a busy week in the Ding-Dong household!!


I think I might have mentioned that my parents are here visiting for ten days! We have been doing lots of touristy stuff, packing it all in before the expected rains come, and getting lots of good camera-candy for my new Digital Rebel!! Not very artsy-fartsy, but here is an obligatory tourist pose of them on board the Midway!

Wooot!

I think I have taken about a thousand pictures this week!

But, we tend to make it home late, are tired, need to get kiddies into bed, and then there are 3 or 4 of us who want to check their email. I haven't even begun to go through the vast library of pictures and get anything together to show you.

We have been to the Wild Animal Park, the Midway Aircraft Carrier, Ensenada in Mexico, Encinitas near San Diego, the Swami Meditation Gardens, Old Towne, Heritage Park, Presidio Park... is that all?? I think so...

My mom wrote a blog post or two about our trips so I am not going to be too redundant here. But I am beginning to think my photos are going to get together as long past my folks' departure as my Christmas pictures went up past the new year!

Sorry!

But know that we are having a crazy, chaotic, rockin' good time!

Tomorrow, my mom has offered to let Michael and I go out for a long lunch date while she stays home with the kids. YAY!!

Sushi sounds good...

Wordless Wednesday: Peace Amidst the Chaos


Check out other Wordless Wednesday Participants
here and here.


For those just popping in, my blog is about raising my three sons,
two of whom are twins who just started their terrible twos,
and the crazyness that comes with all of that.
It's also about my love for photography, photoshop,
and the sweet life.
I grew up in Findlay, Ohio and now live in San Diego with my family.
If that sounds at all interesting, bookmark me and stop by again sometime!
I know... yer busy WW-hopping right now.
Me too!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

The New Wish List

...while tucking Noah into bed last night...

Noah: Mom, can I have a real drum set with drums and a real cymbal and drumsticks, PLEEEEEZE???

Mama: Ummm... well... that sounds really loud. And where would we keep it? There is no more room against any of our walls. We would have to get rid of your bookshelf, or your piano, or your toy box to make room for it. Which one should we get rid of??

Noah: Okay...

(beat)

(beat)

Noah: How about a bucket with a hole in the side, some gunpowder and a fuse?

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Out of Whack


Noah and Mama in the car...

Noah: Mommy, I just ate an ear whack.

Mama: A what?

Noah: An EAR WHACK!

Mama: What's an ear whack??

Noah: One of those things that comes out of your ear.

Mama: You mean ear wax????

Noah: Yeah, but I only ate one of them.

Mama: Um... okay. How did that go for you, then?

Noah: It didn't taste very good.

Mama: Yeah, I figured.

Noah: Not as good as a booger.

Mama: ...um... uh...

Noah: Mama?

Mama: Yeah, Noah?

Noah: I think that ear whacks are more healthy than boogers.

Mama: Why is that, baby?

Noah: Because healthy things don't taste as good as bad-for-you things. So I think ear whacks are healthy to eat, and boogers have gotta be bad for you.

Mama: ...um... ...o'kay.


Noah: Remember that, Mama.

Friday, January 18, 2008

My Guiding Light!

Hey Everyone...

I have all of 30 seconds to write this as we are heading out the door to go to the Botanical Gardens and Swami's Meditation Gardens up in Encinitas.

BUT!!

My Mom turned 70 today! I don't have time to find some great picture of her, but PLEEEEZE go over to her blog to wish her a wonderful birthday!! She is an awesome woman! She and my dad, in their retirement, have become wildlife rescuers on Sanibel Island, Florida. They are active travelers and have a great life.

And my mom ROCKS!!

Gotta go... we are piling into the car!!

Go say happy birthday to her.

Go!!!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Noah... Television Star!

Hey there! Noah has been going to the YMCA Daycamp for the last two weeks and came home saying he was on the Fox6 news. We, of course taped last night's news and again this morning before we deduced that it was a live airing YESTERDAY morning. I scoured their website and found this video.

Noah is on the right of the screen, he is the one who says, "Apples and Peanut Butter" at 1 minute 12 seconds into the video.

Apparently, he gave a health tip ("drink lots and lots of water every day!") and at the end of the video, the reporter says he will be back with more of the camp kids, but they don't have the second video on their site anywhere that I can see.

Anyway, I am back to feeding the twins their breakfast, and then its off to the airport to pick up my Mom and Dad!! YAY!!!

Update: I had to remove the video of Noah on TV. I just HAD to! Did you notice how you didn't have to push "play" to start it? It just started up on its own? Well, I know, 8 posts from now, folks don't want to be forced to listen to the audio while reading some other post above it, so I removed it. If you want to see it, go HERE to check it out!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Another Chance to Beg for Comments!


Why Hello!

Guess what I just heard?

Its already Wednesday and I only just found out that it is National De-Lurking Week! Yippeeee!!!

This is a great chance for you all to just click on that little button down there that says how many comments there are on this post, and tell me what you are up to this weekend! Or what's going on in your world!

So rarely do I see anyone lately, I probably miss you! Desperately!

Unless, that is, I have never met you. Well, then, by golly, introduce yourself! Just click on that comment button, pick a name for yourself and say HI!!

What am **I** doing this week, you ask? Well, let me tell you! I spent most of the week cleaning with all my free time, for a 15 minute walk-through of some folks who might want to buy the house I am renting. Yup. We might get the ole' heave-ho come April, if not sooner. Something about our rent not covering their mortgage now that the rates went up...

Little things.

And guess what?? My parents are coming to visit me tomorrow for TEN DAYS!! So, we will be doing lots of touristy San Diego things. Probably the Wild Animal Park, checking out the Midway Aircraft Carrier (for my dad), and see some theater. Lots of good camera fodder for my new baby.

Tell me (Hey, How about in a COMMENT!) what you are up to this week/weekend??

I will keep refreshing to see if you commented...

Go ahead.

I'll wait.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Wordless Wednesday: Lonely Sea Cliff


Check out other Wordless Wednesday Participants
here and here.

For those just popping in, my blog is about raising my three sons,
two of whom are twins who just started their terrible twos,
and the crazyness that comes with all of that.
It's also about my love for photography, photoshop,
and the sweet life.
I grew up in Findlay, Ohio and live in San Diego.
If that sounds at all interesting, bookmark me and stop by again sometime!
I know... yer busy WW-hopping right now.
Me too!

Monday, January 14, 2008

Can't Help Lovin' that Man of Mine!

.
Luka is kind of the silent type.

I know he will speak more someday, but for now he chooses to be a man of few words. He just turned two, and has spoken maybe 20 words in his life, but only keeps about 7 or 8 in repertory at any one time.

It’s kind of a big thing for me, but he only just started calling me “Mama” and “Mommy” last week! Until then, I was “daddy”. In fact, Daddy was “daddy”, Ethan and Noah were “daddy” and if you came over to visit, you were “daddy” too. It was kind of his “HEY YOU!”.

He has learned a good deal of sign language, but rarely uses it other than to identify things like windows, chairs, and clocks. He does tell us he wants more and is all done with sign.

But one non-verbal bit of communication that he has stuck with and uses a LOT is his ubiquitous shrug.



He shrugs when he can’t find something.

He shrugs when he doesn’t understand.

He shrugs when he hides something under a blanket and plans to pop it out in a game of peekaboo, asking you silently, “Where did it go??”

I was going through some of the twins’ birth pictures about the time they turned two, and found a shot I took of Luka when he was five days old, still spending his days and nights in the isolette.

It literally had me cracking up, now that I know and love two-year-old Luka!


Does this look at all familiar?

.

My First Review

I was approached by Rebecca of Barefoot Books recently to do a review and tell you about Barefoot. I love children’s books and told her I would love to give it a go.

Barefoot Books seems to be a great company that picks and chooses which books to sell based on their mission statement, part of which includes the following:

"...we celebrate art and story that opens the hearts and minds of children from all walks of life, inspiring them to read deeper, search further, and explore their own creative gifts. Taking our inspiration from many different cultures, we focus on themes that encourage independence of spirit, enthusiasm for learning, and sharing of the world's diversity.”

I received a package in the mail with two books. The first was Motherbridge of Love illustrated by Josée Masse. The text was submitted anonymously to the charity Mother Bridge of Love, which seeks to connect kids adopted from China with their homeland. The second book was Winter King, Summer Queen, written by Mary Lister and illustrated by Diana Mayo.

Motherbridge of Love is a beautifully illustrated book about the love two mothers have for their Asian daughter, the one mother who created her and cared enough for her to give her a better life, and the other mother who, through adoption, gave her the love she needed to grow up happy and healthy.

When I first saw the book, I personally loved it but wasn’t sure it would fly with Noah, a typical boy of 5 who likes Star Wars and dinosaurs. I seem to have a hard time winning him over to books with fantastic illustrations. For some reason he goes for the more simple style.

But I sat down with him for his bedtime book, and as we went through it, he loved explaining how both mothers gave different gifts to this child. He also loved how he could find pictures of the birth mother in the landscape of the adoptive mother’s life: in one picture she was the face in the moon, in another, the adoptive mother and the girl run over a hill shaped as the birth mother’s content face in profile.

When the book was done, I asked him if he liked it and he told me he “LOVED it!” I asked if there was anything about it he didn’t like, and he said, “No, I liked ALL of it!” Then he begged me to go back over the illustrations so we could find hints of the birth mother in every page. He also wanted to talk about adoption and how it works and why people give up their children. The book served as a wonderful platform to introduce this concept.

This book would be a wonderful gift to mothers and their adopted children. It would be such a sweet way to explain and explore feelings about where they came from, and how adoption affects their family.

The second book, Winter King and the Summer Queen, is a fanciful fable that explains where our seasons come from.

Queen Goldenlight and King Icicle both rule kingdoms in the sky above Earth, one supplying light and heat to the happy people below and the other wreaking havoc with is icy storms and blustery winds. When the King gets a bit too carried away, he covers the world in snow and ice until the people are all unhappy. When Queen Goldenlight and her friends see this, they send out animals with the gift of warmth and light to spread around the world. When the Queen and her friends create a lovely rainbow that stretches across the sky to the King’s realm, the two meet and dance and come to a compromise: that each will rule the Earth’s weather for half the year, taking turns.

This book, too, had some gorgeous illustrations. Each monarch has friends with names like Clarence Cloud and Maya Monsoon, Serena Sky and Harry Hurricane. Noah really enjoyed perusing over their costumes and especially liked the companions of the King, each a different kind of storm.

I do have to say, I found the telling of the story a bit uninspired. There was some language that was a bit above my son’s level, even though he is linguistically ahead of the game. I found myself changing some of the sentences so he would understand what they were trying to say. Also, at one point, the Queen asks the King a riddle. The answer to the riddle was “the rainbow”, and I asked Noah what he thought the answer was. He couldn’t figure it out, and so we turned the page to see the answer, and the text said something like, “Of course the King told her the answer, and they all danced together.” It never really answered the riddle. I had to stop and tell Noah what the answer was since the book didn’t do it for him. I also wish it didn’t give winter such a “bad guy” image, but showed him simply as an opposite to what the Summer Queen was all about.

But, the book was still very enjoyable, explaining the concepts of sharing, compromise, and why we have a change of seasons in a very fanciful way. This book also came with a CD so that Noah can listen to the reading of the book with cues telling him when to turn the page. We haven’t done that yet, but he is very excited about giving it a try.

Check Barefoot Books out. They have an awesome collection of books. They categorize them by age, and teach kids about other cultures, ecology, fitness, religions around the world, family relationships, vegetarianism and they even have the classic fairy tales. They also sell books in Spanish, board books, puzzles, stickers, calendars and other fun items. And there is a big winter sale going on right now on 69 different items.

You can find Barefoot Books here.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

My New Baby


Be warned…
this post is filled with photo-tech hoo-hah
and mumbo-jumbo that might be a snore
to people who don’t get off on cameras and lenses.
If that kind of thing bores the bejeezuz out of you,
move on along!
**************************************************

Have you noticed?

I have been drawn away from my blog by a new love lately. Can one cheat on their blog with a new camera?

My (good, dear, sweet, generous) hubby got me what I really wanted for Christmas this year! A new digital camera! Even though we didn't neeeeeed it! Not just a digital camera, but a digital SLR camera!

A Canon Digital Rebel XTi, baby!

But it’s not really the camera that I wanted, it’s the lens.

I love to browse through photos in flickr and I kept finding these photos that I was SO drawn to! They were pictures of a thousand different subjects, but they all had this super-tight depth of field where everything in front of and behind the subject was out of focus. But what was IN focus was SO crisp, and I wasn’t sure how to describe it but what was out of focus was… so… beautifully... out-of-focusy!

(There's the tech-talk I warned you about earlier!!)

Now I have taken a LOT of out of focus pictures in my life, and NONE of them looked good. That’s when, reading up on the Canon lenses these photos had in common, I learned the word BOKEH!!

Say it with me, now... BOKEH!!

I think it means “blurry, in a good way” in Japanese or something.

Folks started describing the photos I liked as having great bokeh, creamy bokeh, and even as being BOKEH-LICIOUS!!

The magic, I found, came from Canon’s glorious skills with optics, and the fact that some of their lenses stop down to 1.4, 1.2 and even 1.0 (their aperture opens REALLY wide!) This also allows the camera to let in more light in low light situations. I take LOTS of indoor pics and DESPISE indoor flash! So, another plus.

Am I boring you yet?

Long story short, Michael decided the expense was worth my giddy happiness, and since I take 99 percent of the family pictures, I should have what I want (isn’t he awesome??). And, reselling our current digital camera would offset the cost. So YAY! I started my research.

I found the lens I wanted… It stopped down to 1.2 and it was $1400!!

Hmmm… I found the next step down was very reasonably priced. No middle ground between them. This one stopped down to 1.4. Very respectable.

I hunted on flickr for pics taken with the camera/lens combo I lusted after could afford, and sure enough, lots of creamy bokeh to go around.

Sold!

I had read that the kit lens that comes with the Rebel is not so fab, so I opted to get the body only, and ordered the lens separately. The body showed up in time to go under the tree, but the lens finally came a few days ago.

I have been in hog heaven ever since.

I took a bunch of pics in the tiny backyard brick courtyard we have, and took the kids to our nearby park a few times, and shot about 4000 photographs. Not a one of them was above f/1.4! Even when it wasn’t the most appropriate setting! I just wanted Bokeh, bokeh, bokeh! Creamy Bokeh!!

So, forgive me that so many of my pictures for the next few weeks are going to have a super tight depth of field while I play and learn.

All these pictures were taken with the new gear. Also, my Wordless Wednesday pic of Noah and his friend in the previous post.

Oh, and just so my camera doesn’t get jealous of my lens… I have to say that the usability and ease of the digital rebel is really finding a sweet comfy spot in the corner of my little heart and settling in nicely.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Wordless Wednesday: Flying on the Teeter-Totter

Noah and his best friend, Cooper.
Check out other Wordless Wednesday Participants
here and here.

For those just popping in, my blog is about raising my three sons,
two of whom are twins who just started the terrible twos,
and the crazyness that comes with all of that.
It's also about my love for photography, photoshop,
and the sweet life.
I grew up in Ohio and live in San Diego.
If that sounds at all interesting, bookmark me and stop by again sometime!
I know... yer busy WW-hopping right now.
Me too!

Monday, January 7, 2008

Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes!!

Noah went off to day camp for the first time today, and the twins and I fell roughly back into our old schedule.

For the first time since before Christmas, I ventured out in the morning, picking up some tools so that I can do some jewelry making I have been wanting to try. The boys fell asleep on the way to the grocery store. Falling asleep in the car for even a few minutes can ruin nap time for us, so I turned toward home instead.

As suspected, moving them into their beds was not so easy, and Luka began jumping and shouting (quite gleefully). Experience told me to ignore him, and he fell asleep after an hour. Ethan, on the other hand, fell asleep quickly but woke way too early. So, while I didn't have the child-free time I have been craving for a couple weeks, I did get to cuddle with Ethan on the bed, trying to get him back to sleep, but instead giggling and tickling.

I don't get to do that much with my boys. Noah is not much of a cuddler, and maybe because they are boys, or twins, or both... our house is usually to chaotic to lay cuddled with Mama on the couch. So this was a very sweet and special little time for Ethan and I.

I had started working on a new blog header during the short time they were both down, and Ethan allowed me to finish it while he played on my lap and around my legs on the floor. I was kind of afraid to change it. Not sure why. I think it looks good, but my profile pic has the old picture of Noah giving me dandelions. I kept the dandelion theme.

Maybe I need to go take Luka out looking for dandelions. Equal time for everyone, you know.

What do you think of the new header?? Be honest.

No, really.

Who Should You Vote For???

While reading a few friends' blogs this morning, I ran across one (Hi, B.C.!! ) that posted a link to this website that asks you questions about your political beliefs, and then tells you which candidate most closely matches your views! Interesting! It even asks you how important each issue is to you on a sliding scale.

On the fence? Give it a try!

Here are my results... Not that it helped, everyone so "neck and neck" and all. I have to say I am leaning toward Obama, though. I know he doesn't have much legislative experience, but I would love to see what a young person, as yet relatively uncorrupted by politics, would do in there.

But I have to say, after listening to lots of debates... Not even the least of the republican candidates scares the bejesus out of me like George W. does!!

Yay for ANY change!!

92% Hillary Clinton
91% Barack Obama
90% John Edwards
88% Chris Dodd
79% Joe Biden
78% Bill Richardson
64% Mike Gravel
63% Dennis Kucinich
57% Rudy Giuliani
44% John McCain
38% Tom Tancredo
34% Mitt Romney
31% Mike Huckabee
21% Fred Thompson
17% Ron Paul

2008 Presidential Candidate Matching Quiz

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Just Try to Walk Away

They say that when a child tantrums, you should just leave the room and take away his audience. Sometimes that is not so easy. This SO cracked me up!! Check it out!

Did I Mention, "Thank God for Day Camp?"

Thank God for day camp.

I love my son, but thank God for day camp!

Noah has been home since before Christmas for winter break. Hanging out with Noah and doing five-year-old stuff is great. Hanging around with twin toddlers and doing toddler stuff is great. Hanging around with all THREE, who want to do different types of things than each other, especially when the latter wants to destroy whatever the former is doing and both need to stay on opposite sides of the baby gate to keep tantrums and toys pelted head-ward to a minimum, and especially when both said age groups need to be with their Mama at all times or screaming ensues…

That’s kinda hard.

So, thank God for day camp.

Noah is off to winter day camp starting Monday morning, along with his best friend Cooper. There will be bowling and crafts and sack lunches. And I will go back to caring for one age group during the day…

…sigh…

But we have been keeping busy, building Rube Goldberg machines when Daddy is home to help, having scavenger hunts, decorating cookies and practicing our reading. Okay, his reading. I hardly ever read.

I could use some practice…

One of the fun projects we did is candle making! We gave Noah a chemistry set for Christmas and one of the projects was how to make a candle.

He LOVED it!


Daddy did the set up, cutting off soda can tops and melting wax on the stove. Noah did the dipping back and forth between the hot wax and the cold water.

At one point, we thought it might be safer to work with the hot wax away from the stove, on the dining room table.



We were wrong.

Do you know how fast candle wax turns hard when it hits a cold, cold floor? It's surprisingly fast!

But we put our brand new Christmas gift cards to good use, scraping all that wax up so we could re-melt it again.

You know... back at the dangerous stove.

The finished product didn’t look much like the candles you see in the store, or the one they showed in the instruction booklet. It looked more like a pile of pink poo.

But it worked!

And Noah was very proud of it.

He got to do the inaugural lighting. After all his practice with 36 Hanukkah candles, he knew what he was doing… he even started saying, “Baruch Atah Adonai…”

He was very proud.

So proud that he blew it out and lit it about 37 more times.

It was a good winter break. I miss having him around sometimes. But after the constant refrain of “What can I do next??” and the babies screaming bloody murder wondering when THEY get Mommy next, I am looking forward to day camp.

Thank God for day camp!

Friday, January 4, 2008

A Thing of Beauty...


...is a joy, forever.

I am too giddy to write. I must go photograph...

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

A is for Awesome

Ooooh, I think I am going to have a new little addiction now that I figured out how to put videos on my blog. See how I have a category called "Mama's Latest Addiction"? Its because I sometimes glom onto something and won't let go until I wring all the fun out of it. So, until the mailman shows up with my new camera lens (peering over the back fence yet again...), I am going to be plying you with videos.

Lucky you.

So, this one is of Luka. He is suddenly learning his alphabet. (Due, mostly in part, to watching the video by They Might Be Giants called "Here Come the ABCs" over and over and over again.)

For those of you who don't get the momentousness of this, you must know that Luka hardly speaks a word. He is the Marcel Marceau (may he rest in peace) of the toddler world. We have been teaching him sign language because he speaks all of six words or so.

He doesn't even say "Mama" yet. He calls me Daddy. In fact, if YOU came over to my house, he would call you Daddy too. He calls his Papa, "Papa" and he calls his Lambie, "Mimi" and he calls Elmo, "Momo".

But everyone else is "Daddy".

So, when he started pointing at letters and naming them, we were flabbergasted to say the least.

Here he is in action:

video

I just did a spell check on this post. I appreciate that "flabbergasted" is in Blogger's dictionary.

"Glom", however, is not.

Wordless Wednesday: Doing the Dishes


Check out other Wordless Wednesday Participants
here and here.

For those popping by, my blog is about raising my three sons, two of whom are twins who just started the terrible twos, the crazyness that comes with all of that, and its also about my love for photography, photoshop,
and the sweet life.
I grew up in Ohio and live in San Diego.
Stop by again sometime!

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Rube Goldberg, Eat Your Heart Out

It all started with the game of Mousetrap.

You remember the one; we had it back when we were kids. Its the board game where you build a mousetrap with plastic pieces and then you turn the crank to make the boot kick the bucket over, tipping the ball into the ramp which hits the pole that knocks the ball into the bathtub which goes down the drain, falling onto the see-saw which catapults the diving man into the bucket which sends the cage careening down a pole onto your little mouse-guy.

Well, Noah loves Mousetrap.

He has always had a thing for ramps and tunnels of all kinds. That's why I put Mousetrap on his birthday wish list. His Mima got it for him, and he loves it, muchly!!

So, I told him about Rube Goldberg, the guy who invented contraptions much like the Mousetrap game. They were elaborate, ridiculous machines designed to do something simple like turn on a lamp, or push down the lever on your toaster. Noah was enthralled, and like we usually do, we turned to youtube.com to find videos of Rube Goldberg Machines. Sure enough, they had RG Competitions with videos of the winner. There is also the awesome car commercial that uses only pieces of a car (but in slightly less than cool manner, seems to be occasionally helped by computer graphics... I don't believe those tires roll up hill).

So he began to watch endless Rube Goldberg videos.

Then came the drawings. He began to imagine machines of his own, to dream about them, do design them in his sleep. Then he would get up and have to draw what he imagined. I have a portfolio full of his imaginings which only he can explain.

He wanted to see Rube Goldberg, so we went to his web page, and saw lots of Rube Goldberg's personal drawings. Noah saw that Rube would put letters of the alphabet beside each step of the machine so you knew what order everything happened in, so Noah began to incorporate the letters into his own drawings.

Then, of course, he needed to build some contraptions of his own, using dominoes and balls and books propped on pillows for ramps. They got more and more elaborate.

Then he pulled Daddy into his plans. Daddy introduced things like tape, and levers and things he could use as tunnels. Now, with nearly every spare few minutes, he holes himself up on one side of the baby gate, with toddlers on the other and works and works until he gets a machine built and working correctly.

I have been wondering how it works to get video up and running on this blog, so I made a little movie of Noah and Daddy's latest contraption. Let's see if it works...

Presented for your viewing pleasure, Noah's Rube Goldberg machine, designed to knock down bowling pins.

Enjoy:

video

Ahhh! Looks like it might have worked! If you are having trouble, try double clicking. And if it did work, you might just be seeing more little videos from us here in sunny San Diego!

(What's that I hear??? It sounds like shouts of joy coming from southeast Florida!)

Are you all having a good 2008 yet? Broken any good resolutions??

Happy New Year!!


It's just past midnight (okay by almost an hour) and I just wanted to pop in and wish you all a very Happy New Year filled with blessings and happiness!

Michael and I put the kids to bed, sat up and watched a couple episodes of TV we had taped about 8 months ago, trying to catch up on our shows!! Ha! Then we watched 15 minutes of TV, flipping back and forth between Ryan Seacrest/Dick Clark, Carson Daly, and the local festivities live from the Midway Air Craft Carrier.

Is it just me, or does Carson Daly look freakishly like Dick Clark (post stroke no less!) and the guy is only about 30!

We had a couple glasses of wine, watched a couple bands we had never heard of (old age setting in there quickly, uh huh.) and toasted in the new year together on the couch.

The kids will be awake in five hours, but I just wanted you all to know I am thinkin' of ya, and hope you all had a safe and festive night.

How did YOU spend it??