Friday, January 29, 2010

Photo Friday ~ 4 ~

Yes, that's my son in the bathtub with his hat on.  I had put his hat away in the coat closet for the winter and he found it last week so he's been wearing it again.  He wore it to church too.  Then the other night we were getting ready for baths and he refused to take it off.  It was pretty cute watching him run around with nothing but a hat on.  So, I let him get in the bath with it if he agreed to take it off when it was time to wash his hair.  And he was fine with that.  But he had to put it back on right after bathtime was over.  He almost slept with it on until he realized that it wasn't really comfortable.  Have I mentioned how much I love this kid?  And this photo?  Well, I do.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Three Towers

Three 3 year olds, three very different towers.  I wonder if you can interpret their architectural styles the way you can artwork.  Like, oh, wow, that child has issues, look at the triangle block they used.  Or, wow, that child is a genius, look at the intricacy.  Yeah, whatever, it's just blocks...

Or is it? 

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The Elusive "Real" Smile

I thought it would be nice to take a few pictures of my daughter for her sixth birthday, all dressed up in her birthday party dress.  She was not in the mood...

Come on, one nice smile and I'll be done. 

Um...I mean a nice smile, a little less crazy.

I mean a real smile, not so fake...please?

Um, yeah, a little less, baby, not more.  Just one nice smile and I'll be done, I promise.

Okay, not what I had in mind.

Yeah, that's a great look, perfect.

Ugh, I give up.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Birthday Girl

Six years ago today my life was forever changed when I became a mother for the first time.  I can't believe it has been that long.  I remember it so vividly as I suspect I always will.  I will never forget how loudly my daughter cried when she was first born.  I looked at my husband and we both had these expressions on our faces that said, "What the heck did we just get ourselves into?"  My mother says she knew when she was born because she could hear her crying all the way down the hall in the waiting room.  But luckily, she wasn't a crier.  She was actually a pretty easy baby.  So sweet natured and funny, just like she is now a whole six years later.  It is so fun to watch her grow up.  She's going to school and losing her teeth and now she can read.  It's crazy!  Where did my baby go?  I'm trying to cherish these last few years before she loses all her little girlness and turns into a scary tween, or worse, teenager.  For now she's still my baby girl, who gives me as many hugs and kisses as I want and still wants me to wipe her tears and kiss her boo-boos.  Yes, motherhood has it's perks.  Thanks, baby girl, for making me a mother, the thing I always most wanted to be.

My girl at 4 months old.

Here she is at 8 months.  I loved her gap-toothed stage.

And the crazy hair stage.  This was about 14 months.

Around 3 years old.

And here she is now, my big kid.

I love looking back at old pictures to see how she's changed.  Happy Birthday, Cupcake!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Photo Friday ~ 3 ~

This is a photo of one of the little girls that I babysit.  She has just started to clap and it's the cutest thing ever.  I have my own personal cheerleader.  She claps while I'm feeding her as if she's saying, "Great job, Shawna, I love you so much for feeding me!".  She claps when I get my camera out as if to say, "Wow, you're so talented, keep it up!".  I love her, she's such a happy little thing.  That's why I love this picture.  It really captures her true smile and happy, friendly spirit.  I also like how soft her skin looks, but yet her eyes still look glossy and wet.

I thought this week I'd add a little information about how I arrive at the final product of a nice photo.  I don't have photoshop so I don't do a whole lot to change them from the original, but I am always interested in what other people do to change their photos.  This one started out so-so.  I loved her expression so I decided to work with it.  The color version was too distracting because there were some very colorful toys in the background.  So, I changed it to black and white.  A little too stark, not much warmth.  So I used the "warmify" button on the application that I use which is Picasa 3.  It's free to download so if you aren't using anything to edit your photos, check it out!  The warmify gives it what is similar to a sepia feel, but without so much brown.  I think it's now about as good as it's gonna get until I can save up for a new computer and photoshop.  Hopefully that will happen sometime in 2010.  For now, though, I think it's good that I don't have it since it is forcing me to really learn to use my camera's settings to improve my photos so that I don't need to do as much editing later.  At least that's what I'm telling myself to get me through...

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


To all the moms out there who like to brag about how their kid can recite their abc's forward and backward, while balancing on one foot, while playing the guitar, I just have one thing to say....

Yeah, but can she do this?

That takes talent right there.

And check out my other kid.  She's got talent too, I tell you!  Chips and bacon while wearing tights!

And the ability to wear many hats all at the same time!

This is the future of America, people, pay attention!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Better Late Than Never

Back in September, my husband and I went to a wedding out on the east coast.  You can read about it here.  I didn't post any pics at the time because I had forgotten to take my camera with me.  While we were there we got one of those disposable cameras and I had a CD of the pictures made.  I completely forgot about them for a while and just remembered them.  So, I thought I'd post a few.  Keep in mind that these were taken with a disposable camera.  I can't believe how spoiled I am now with digital.  You should have seen me hoarding my precious 24 frames of film.  It's amazing how picky you become when you know you can't look at or delete the photo you are about to take.  And the little viewfinder thingy is pathetic...  Anyway, they are actually okay pics and I'm glad I have them.  Enjoy!

This is me and my man in front of some crazy mosaic covering an entire building somewhere in downtown Philadelphia.  It was pretty cool. 

A friend of ours striking a pose in front of Liberty Hall.  This is the building where they had the first Congress and a bunch of other important stuff in American history.  I'm sure the founding fathers would appreciate the seriousness with which we approached this photo.

If you bothered to read my post about the trip, then you read about the naked bikers.  And this is the only shot I got?!  Pathetic.  My husband was very disappointed.  And all I can say is ewww!

The Atlantic Ocean.  It was too cold to go in, but anytime I can be at the beach is good.  I love, love, love the beach.

That's us with some great friends of ours.  They live in Los Angeles and will be the ones getting married in February.  We'll be there and I will take my camera this time!

This is a pic from Longwood Gardens (I think that's what it's called).  Very beautiful place near Wilmington, Delaware that my husband and I visited very briefly.  We were in a hurry so we didn't get to see it all, but if you're ever out that way, check it out.

I cannot wait until our trip to LA.  No kids, sunshine, good friends.  Look for pics coming in late February!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Photo Friday ~ 2 ~

The view out my kitchen window while I was doing dishes the other night.  Almost made it an enjoyable task...almost.

My daughter showing me her new lipgloss.  My new lens makes the background so soft.  I'm in love!

Another new pic of my daughter.  Trying to get used to my new can have an eye in focus with a nose out of focus.  Amazing, but too much can be a little weird.

It was too hard for me to pick just one this week.  Maybe I should've done the photo of the day! 

Friday, January 8, 2010

Photo Fridays

I've decided that for 2010 I am going to do a series of posts called Photo Fridays.  I was going to do a photo of the day, but then decided that was a little too much pressure.  I like setting goals I know I can attain. : )  So, here is my first Photo Friday photo.  I love this photo of my son because for one, I love his eyes, and second, I love the creative crop, and third I like the added texture.  I'm hoping this series will challenge me to get out my camera and take photos each week and also challenge me to be more creative and hopefully learn in the process.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Color Blind?

I don't think I've ever done a post about a controversial topic.  I tend to shy away from them so as not to cause conflict, but I've really been thinking about this topic lately and felt the need to share my opinion.  I was reading another blog that I follow the other day and this person commented on how she never mentions race to her children.  Instead she gives them toys and books that show people of all races.  She hopes to raise "colorblind children".  I must say that up until about 4 months ago that's exactly how I felt.  Then, I was in the airport on my way to a wedding and picked up a Newsweek Magazine.  The cover had a picture of a baby with the tagline, "See Baby Discriminate" and I was immediately hooked.  I stood there and read the entire article which was quite lengthy.  My husband was dragging me to our gate and I had to put it down (I didn't want to buy it, cheapskate that I am).  Here is a link to the article  I highly recommend that you read it in it's entirety.  It has changed the way that we have decided to teach our children about race.  And I believe 100% that it has been a great decision. 

In our daily lives we don't come in contact with a huge amount of diversity.  One of our friends even teased us about living in White Cheddar instead of West Chester since it is a predominately white neighborhood.  My daughter had one black child in her preschool class.  She referred to him either by his name or as "the boy with the brown skin".  I thought that was fine.  I thought if she wasn't labeling him by his race that meant my plan of not talking about race and her being colorblind was working.  Our shift in thinking happened just as she was starting kindergarten.  Her new school has a much more diverse poplulation of kids than I expected.  I was pleasantly surprised to find that about 1/3 of her class is of another race than white.  She came home the first day telling me all about this girl with the very cool braids all over her head and wondered why no one like us does their hair like that.  And there were two boys in her class with cornrows which she had no idea what they were called but after her describing them I figured it out.  She was completely fascinated.  I took that opportunity to tell her about "black" people.  And it was really a great conversation.  I could tell that she had really been wondering about this whole race thing, but didn't know how to ask me about it.  And we talked about how no matter what color a person's skin is, she can still be friends with them.  I think at her age this is the best way to talk about equality since that's a pretty abstract concept at this age.  We don't talk about race all the time, but I know now that she feels comfortable coming to me with a question.  And she does often and she keeps me on my toes!  We have some neighbors who are brown (middle eastern) and their parents are white.  That has been a great opportunity to talk about adoption and race all at that same time.  She is always curious about which brown skinned people are called "black" and which aren't.  Which honestly I don't always know what to tell her, but at least I know I can fill her head with the knowledge that no matter what ethnic background a person is from, everyone is the same on the inside and we can all be friends if we try.  I think it's also a great way to introduce history and geography to her as well.  I hope I haven't offended anyone in this post and I hope that if you are wanting to teach your child about race that you won't be afraid to speak up to them.  After all, we are their greatest teachers.

Craigslist is Your Friend

I just love to find a good deal, I mean who doesn't these days?  Santa got my daughter an American Girl doll for Christmas and if you know anything about these dolls it's that they come with a million accessories.  You have to get outfits, and little shoes, and hair things, and they come with books.  It's actually all super adorable and I'm kinda jealous I never had one when I was little. can be a storage nightmare.  When I learned that Santa was indeed getting her a doll, I figured I better get prepared with a storage solution.  So off to Craiglist I went in search of a cabinet of some sort.  You can go to American Girl's website and see the one that they sell for a ridiculous $350.  Who buys this stuff?!  Anyway, after searching for a few days I came across the perfect cabinet for $60, but it was way down in Kentucky in the boondocks.  I figured, what the heck, driving 45 minutes to save $300 is worth it.  Plus, when I got there I talked him down to $40 (go me!).  The cabinet wasn't perfect.  I think it was made for a bathroom, but I knew I could make it into what I wanted.  So I enlisted the help of my grandpa who took out a shelf and put in a tiny clothing rod.  And I bought a couple cans of spraypaint and some new little knobs.  I think it turned out perfect.  Although I would not recommend spraypainting in the basement in the middle of winter.  Bad idea.  But it was too cold to do it in the garage according to the spraypaint can.  I am planning on doing another coat of paint in the spring.  Outside.

Here it is...

I also found a new twin bed for my son on Craigslist.  It's from Pottery Barn Kids and it lists on their website for $1000.  I got it used for $80.  Happy Craigslisting!


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