Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Hello October!

I can't believe it's already October! But I'm happy that it is! I love October and November. My favorite months. I'm sure you gathered that from my post yesterday. I'm doing a little documenting of my life this week. Inspired by Ali Edwards A week in The Life creative challenge. I may deviate a bit from what her challenge explains but that's mostly because I've not taken the time to read everything she's written about it! I've meant to but I just haven't sat down to do it. I just began taking pictures of things about my life yesterday and will continue to do so throughout the week and jot down some notes about the photos. I'm not a record every detail of my day sort of person. First, it reminds me of how boring my life can be and secondly, at some point during the day I will get behind and when I try to catch up I will forget what I've done during the time that I didn't keep track and then I'll get irritated and just give up. So I'm just going to document the things that I want to and not the things I don't want to!

I spent some time outside with Owen today and took my camera. I haven't been doing that too often lately because he wants to take "pischers" too. And this isn't how I want to do it! Today I made up a few games to get him to stay still and also allowed him to take some pictures too. Which means O looks through the viewfinder and I push the button. Then we look at what he's taken a picture of. Yesterday he took pictures of all the toys he had out. Today we used the SLR and I got to take most of the pictures. The SLR is considerably heavier and doesn't have a live view so he's loses interest quickly. So here's a glimpse of what we saw.

A fall leaf on the sidewalk.
A napping yard gnome. (Part of the "game" to get pictures of Owen!)
And Owen running down the sidewalk!

He likes to pose the gnome by the tree and then I take pictures. He talks to it too. I also get him to run to the tree and back while I take his picture using the action shot mode on the camera. I figure out of the 15 I shoot I should get 1 or 2 that are cute!

Today it was like pulling teeth to get him to wear clothes. My mom says it's in his genes since we are descended from gypsies and they were forced to wear clothes. I don't know where she gets this stuff! In the picture above this is outfit #2. He had on other pants but didn't want to put those back on after I changed his diaper. Mimi actually talked him into wearing the first pair. She was part of the bribe. I told him we could have lunch with Mimi if he got dressed. We had to go to Target. So we met Mimi there for lunch and then did out shopping. We also discovered that Owen is afraid of painted/decorated pumpkins in addition to other Halloween decorations especially anything that talks.

Oh, and prior to leaving for lunch he peed on the bathmat that was 6" from his potty chair before our shower and then he popped in the tub. It was a fun morning. He had also woken up at 3am for a bread snack. I didn't sleep well because I was busy worrying so I couldn't fall asleep. Then Ludwig wanted to go out so I let him out. I couldn't get back to sleep so I watched TV and then ate some cereal (worrying makes me hungry) and then O woke up. Eventually he went back to sleep in our bed.

Then he didn't take a nap. I was battling a headache and really needed a nap so eventually I called Naunee who came over after work to play with Owen so I could lay down for a bit. I didn't fall asleep but I did rest a bit.

The long and short of it is that I spend my nights worrying about getting cancer or someone I love getting cancer or various other aliments or accidents. I spend the daytime worrying about when I'm going to get to consume large quantities of sugar. Both of these activities are putting a damper on my living in the present. Today I was talking to my mom about my nighttime worrying and she asked me if it had gotten worse since Owen was born. Oh boy, yes! I don't think I worried about myself dying before I had him but after it's something that I worry about almost non-stop some nights. I haven't been a good sleeper for years. Either because of headaches or because of a busy mind. But since Owen was born it's a lot of worrying about not being around to see him grow up.

The sugar is my way of coping with the stress and anxiety of my boring life. And it's not that I want something different in my life. I just need to learn to do more with my day. It becomes a vicious cycle. Poor sleep, poor diet, inactivity which leads to being lethargic and then I get stressed out because I'm not eating well and getting some exercise. I think the medication is helping but it's not a cure and I need to develop some skills to deal with myself.

I'm not writing this for pity or attention or whatever but I just feel like if I put it out here I can acknowledge it and then move on from it. Like writing it in a journal. Which is what a lot of my blogging is about. Just a shared journal. Which I think is helpful for me too. The sharing.

Oh, and to help with my coping I've decided to go sugar free for October. I may regret it. Or Morgan may regret it because he'll have to deal with me but I don't do well with moderation of sugar so I thought I'd try to go cold turkey. I sound like a junkie, don't I!?

Monday, September 29, 2008

A layout to share...

Here's one of the layouts I did this weekend. I've been hanging on to this photo for awhile. I hadn't found the right idea yet for it. Then I saw a layout on 2P's with a lot of white space with journaling around the photo. The journaling around the photo didn't work for me so I painted a frame and added a rubon quote.

I've got two more to share but they are 12x12 two pagers so I need to photograph them rather than scan and that will take longer than the 10 minutes I have now before bed!

Ahhhhh fall...

Fall is my favorite season. I love the crispness of the air and the crunch of the leaves and the warmth of socks and sweaters. The weather this week is supposed to be very fall like. Something I welcome. 60's and partly sunny. The leaves are starting to turn and fall a bit. I enjoy being outside much more now than I did several weeks ago. Sometimes in the summer I feel a bit like a vampire because of my dislike for the bright sunny days. It's not that I don't enjoy the sunshine I just don't like such direct glaring sun in my eyes! And the sweating that generally comes with it. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for a good sweaty workout, just not while I'm walking from the house to my car!
This past weekend I spent most of Saturday scrapping! I met my friend Lisa at Archiver's about 1pm and we scrapped until 11pm! I was great! I got three nice layouts mostly done. Just a few finishing touches to add at home. The first layout took me a long time to do! I'm amazed at my slowness sometimes. Although we did spend the first hour or so talking! Which I don't mind either. I was very happy with what I accomplished though and will post pictures of my work this week. Lisa completed a whole album while we were there of a trip she took a couple of summers ago! She was very productive! I enjoy scrapping with my friends but sometimes the other people at the crops get on my nerves. Mostly because of how loud they talk! It was jam packed too! I won a prize too! I got to pick a free item out of the dollar spot! I got a cute little Halloween stamp set.
Unfortunately I couldn't fall asleep when I got home and then Owen decided 2:45am would be a great time for a snack! Sunday my best friend's daughter came over for the day to play. Owen always has a great time with her and talks about her for days after we've seen her! They played very well together and took a blissful 2 hour nap which I also enjoyed!
This coming weekend I'm going to scrap again with BJ! We've not decided where and when but two weekends in a row is very exciting!
Today we had an appointment with Owen's neurologist. Just a check-up appointment. He thinks Owen is doing very well and doesn't need to see him back for a year. He reitterated that the ischemia that Owen suffered is in a part of his brain that doesn't affect his cognitive abilities. He said that if there is a place that one would prefer it occur that it would be there. I also asked him if this is something that is hereditary or could have been caused by something I did or didn't do during pregnancy and he said no on both accounts. It's just something that was unique to Owen's brain development and happened inutero.
I thought today would be a good day to post a little list of some of my favorite fall things:
1. Smartwool socks
2. Mammouth Crocs
3. Pumpkin Cheesecake at the Cheesecake Factory
4. Hot chocolate
5. Tomato soup
6. The Office (Jim & Pam got engaged!!!)
7. Warm sweaters
8. The changing leaves
9. Picking apples at the apple orchard
10. Gearing up for birthdays and Christmas (Between September and the beginning of March there are 10 birthdays in our family!)

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Thoughts for Thursday 9/25/08...

I'm at work, and while I wouldn't normally write a blog entry at work, today is different. I'm waiting for my e-mail to filter in. I've been having trouble with my e-mail program for about three weeks now but the IT people don't seem to think I'm important enough to do anything about it. When you are as part-time as I am, you are ALWAYS low girl on the totem pole. So I will write while I wait.
Last night I finished the curtains for our bedroom! I cannot tell you have thrilling this is for me! I started them when I was 8 months pregnant and then they fell by the wayside. But every night for two years I would fall asleep thinking that I needed to finish those up. And finally, I have! One pair is shorter than the other but the panels for each pair are the same length so I'm not going to fuss about it! The fabric I used is a nice heavy decorator fabric and then they are lined with a light blocking material on the back so they block out a lot of light. This was important to me because I like it dark when I sleep. Yes, I know, my eyes are closed. But the falling asleep part is easier if there aren't any distractions. Like the neighbors house lights! They will also help keep the heat in in the winter! I took a nap today while Owen was napping and it was nice and dark in there even in the daytime! I will take a picture soon and post. Then you can see the curtains and Janet can also find out why I refer to our bedroom as the weinermobile room! It does look better with the curtains though!
Last night Owen stayed in his room. And while he didn't fall asleep immediately he wasn't at the door throwing a fit either. At naptime today he did come to the door once but I went in and tucked him back into bed and he went to sleep. When he woke up he was turning the door cage thing and saying "Mommy open". But no fit throwing. We'll see how it goes tonight.
Today he was also boycotting pants or shorts. I had to hold him down to get pants on him to go to the store. After naptime I changed his diaper and he refused to let me put the pants back on. He wanted to go outside and play with his airplane but not badly enough to get his pants back on. So we played in the house until Mimi came to babysit and finally he let me put his pants back on! If this keeps up we will have to take out a loan to pay our heat bill in the winter so someone can run around in his diaper!
In other news, and good news at that, Morgan got a promotion yesterday and will also have a new supervisor! It was a difficult decision for him to make (he was looking for a new job in communications rather than finance) but right now it's the best thing for our family. And along with the promotion comes a nice raise that we are very happy about! The single income way of life is tight as many of you know! As progressive as the US claims to be we still aren't progressive enough to pay women to stay home with their children. But hey, we are funding a war you know!
And now I will stop to see if I can figure out how to hurry the e-mail along and do an expense report and a couple other things. If it doesn't hurry up I'll just have to leave it. The Office starts tonight and I need to be home to watch it! I do have priorities!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

A seven minute post...

I've fallen behind this week in my posting. And today I'm only taking 7 minutes to write because Owen is in his room working into a nice nap and I have lots on my list to do in the time that he is napping. Thank goodness the dishwasher can run itself!

My topic for today is wide and rambling so hang on!

Sunday I got a ton of housework done! I love that! I love a neat, clean and tidy house. I told Morgan last night my dream is that one day, just one, the house with be completely clean, neat and organized. Even the storage area and garage! It will be free of clutter and crap and junk. Can you understand why it's a dream!? But the work I did on Sunday is lasting because I'm putting effort in to the maintenance of the cleanliness.

Owen's sleep habits at night are still rocky. Today I discussed it with the parent educator and the mom's in our class. One suggested a knob thing so he can't get out of his room. So we stopped at Target after class to pick one up. We'll see how it goes. He noticed it after I put him down but didn't get to upset about it. I explained it was so he would stay in his room. Mommy and Daddy can work it but Owen can't until he gets bigger.

And speaking of Target, while we were leaving I was thinking about all the reasons why I love Target. Here are a few:

1. Location, location, location. Within 5 miles of my house there are 4 Targets. One is a Super.
2. The $1.50 popcorn & Soda/Icee combo. It keeps Owen occupied while I wander and shop.
3. Clearance= good deals
4. Dollar Spot= good deals
5. It's clean and bright and the aisles are wide.
6. The super deluxe sized fitting room that I can get a cart in.

And my 7 minutes are up. I'm off to work on my curtains! Happy Wednesday!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Thoughtful Friday...

Picture by me quote by ScrapNfonts.

Today Owen and I are baking a cake together! It's our first baking adventure and I must say it went well. I'm not a fan of messy activities with children but I think it's important for him to have experiential learning opportunities so I sucked it up and gave it a go. He loved pouring things in and watching the mixer. We are making a Chocolate Zucchini Cake and I thought I'd share the recipe with you. It's something I like to make in the fall to use up the zucchini from the garden.

Chocolate Zucchini Cake Recipe (submitted to the Immanuel Lutheran Church cookbook Bremen, Kansas by Becky McManus)

1/2 c vegetable oil
1/2 c butter (softened)
1 3/4 c sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 c grated or shredded zucchini (this is about 1 medium sized zucchini or 2 small ones)
1/2 c milk with 3 tsp vinegar in it
1 tsp baking soda
2 1/2 c flour
1/2 tsp cinnamon
4 T cocoa powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 c chocolate chips
1/2 c chopped walnuts (I don't put nuts in mine because I don't like them!)

Cream together oil, butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla. Stir in the zucchini and milk. Add the soda, flour cinnamon, cocoa, and salt and mix well. Pour batter into a greased and floured 9x13 cake pan. Sprinkle the chocolate chips and nuts over the top and bake at 35o˚ for 40 minutes. Needs no frosting, but can be served with whipped topping.

I use a kitchen aid mixer and don't do any hand stirring. It comes out fine. I also use Pam with flour for the greasing/flouring rather than doing that by hand and it comes out just fine. I also turn the cake 1/2 way through baking but that's mostly because our oven is old and has hot spots.

I love recipes from old church cookbooks. This one is from Morgan's grandmother and throughout it are Xs next to recipes that she liked and used to make. This is one of them!

I will post the baking photos this weekend or Monday. The cake is still in the over so I need to do a finished photo!

Have a great Friday!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Observations + discoveries...

It seems like everyday brings something new in Owen's development and learning. Today he was pretending to drive a car and go to Target. He's also been making a lot of cake! He likes to say "be careful mommy". And in a week or so I'm almost certain he'll be able to sing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star with all the hand gestures.

He is a fascinating and clever little boy. I'm just amazed at what he knows and what he's learning. He seems to take everything in and stores it until all the sudden he decides he needs it. He started the careful thing while we were camping with friends on Labor Day weekend. He and Morgan went for a hike without me and he was saying "careful Daddy" as Morgan was navigating a steep trail. I say this to him a lot but he'd never repeated it before until that point. It's not amazing that he said it as much as it is he said it in context of a correct situation.

Today we separated for the first time this semester at toddler class. He was fine with it and even talked about it at dinner with daddy saying I went to my classroom and then came back. We also had a fire drill at the end of our class time and I was worried that he was going to get upset by the noise but I think his teacher did a great job preparing them for it. Not a single one of the children cried.

He also likes to say "later" a lot. If he points out somewhere we should go or do and I tell him not today or it's not for us he will say "later". Or "Owen bigger". I've told him he can do certain things when he's bigger. Like today he wanted to drive to class. And I told him when he is 15 he can drive Mommy's car. He said "fifteen". He's pretty good about not throwing fits as long as we explain things to him in a time frame he understands. Today we went to three stores and he really wanted to go to the bookstore. The Barnes & Nobles by us have a Thomas the Train table in them and he loves this. So I told him we were going to three stores before we went to the bookstore. In each store we talked about what we were doing and where we were going next and how many stores were before the bookstore. He did very well. He had a bit of a fit when it was time to leave the bookstore but I told him if he threw a fit then we wouldn't be able to come back to the bookstore. He decided he wanted to walk rather than ride in the stroller and I told him that was fine but he had to stay with me. He did. Until he realized we weren't getting any books. Where this came from I don't know. We hadn't picked out any books! But I again told him he could walk with me or get in the stroller and he straightened out.

Bedtime is our biggest challenge right now. He's going to bed too late and he won't stay in his room. We're taking it day by day but now that we are back in "school" I will have people to discuss this with and hopefully get some tips and advice!

Now to my discovery! I've been working on curtains for our weinermobile bedroom for over 2 years. I started them when I was pregnant with Owen but didn't get them finished because it was hard to big pieces of fabric being 9 months pregnant and then I had some technical difficulties with my sewing machine. Well, I'm no longer pregnant and I have a new sewing machine. This past weekend I decided it was time to drag out the fabric and get them finished up. There are two sets for out room. One single window and one double. I've had the single set 1/2 done for ages so I figured I'd get them finished and put up. One panel went well and I got it hung. The second panel got all puckered and the stitches were coming out tiny. This is the same issue I was having with the old machine! I didn't have this problem with the first panel! And it was the same panel that gave me trouble the first go round. I figured it had to be something with the fabric rather than the machine but I don't know what was wrong with it! The curtains are lined with a light blocking fabric and the front fabric is a heavier decorator fabric. I was talking to my mom about this and she asked me if I had tried the walking foot on the sewing machine. I knew I had one but I'd never used it before. Tonight I decided to give it a try and it worked! I was so excited! I finished up the second panel and the first set is hung up! I ran in to tell Morgan that we may just have curtains hung in our room before Owen turns 3! We've only not had any in there for 6 years! And this is the last time I'm going to make lined curtains!

It's taken me years but gradually I'm getting better and better with my sewing machine. It helps that I've got a nicer machine now too.

And lastly, I finally decided to give up being a consultant for Close to My Heart. I like the products but I'm a horrible sales person. It's been increasinly difficult to meet the minimums each quarter and I'm not willing to put in the time it takes to develop a broader customer base. I enjoy helping people with scrapbooking and sharing my ideas and creativity but I'm just not a pushy salesperson. I'm hoping some other crafty/creative opportunities present themselves or I figure out what to do with my photography but for now I'm just going to enjoy working on my own scrapbooks with my friends!

Wordless Wednesday...

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Oh Happy Day!

This morning I showered by myself! Which is not to say that I'm not capable of such a feat but the opportunity just doesn't present itself very often. Owen LOVES the shower. Or showber as he would say. And the moment he hears that one of us it going to take one he's pulling at his clothes and saying "Owen showber too!" And because I know there will come a day when he won't want to take showbers, I let him take them with me. And after I'm finished I get out and let the tub fill a bit so he can play while I get dressed and ready for the day. I generally end up regretting this last step because he loves to throw water out of he tub. And no matter how small a cup I give him, he manages to get water all over the bathroom. Oh, and all this usuallyis happening about 3pm!
But today Owen was sleeping in. In our bed. Because he decided to keep saying "mommy" "mommy" "mommy come" over and over last night and I got tired of getting up and going in his room. So I brought him in our room. Where he rolled around for an hour or so and FINALLY went to sleep. Which is why he's still asleep. So rather than lay in bed not sleeping I decided to get up and have a showber on my own. In the MORNING no less! I didn't take a long showber. I didn't want to risk him waking up while I was in there and having a melt down because first he wouldn't be able to get in the bathroom and second because I was in the showber without him! So I took an efficient and quiet showber! And now here I sit writing while Owen is still asleep! Oh bliss!

A little update on my doctor appointment last week. My physical went well. As well as being poked and proded goes. But nothing red flagged. Except for being overweight and having high cholesterol! Yes, I need to lose some weight. (I was not surprised by this!) But the doctor didn't seem to agree with me that it should be 50 pounds. She thought starting with 20 would be fine and see how I felt then. I explained that I have a rather distorted perception of how much I should weigh. Mostly based on my height. And she said that taking into account my body structure that 100 pounds or less was too thin and I needed to be more realistic. Much more realistic! As for the cholesterol I dont' think that really surprised me either. My HDL and triglycerides are good but my LDL is high. So I need to work on that too. Which means M&M's for breakfast and my relationship/obsession with cream filled donuts will have to be scaled back. All the good things about being an adult are always bad for you! Eating whatever you want, staying up late, and scrapbooking until 2am. All come with a consequence.

I used to be healthier and more diligent about my health but after I had Owen that seemed to take a backseat. And while I've made some efforts over the course of the last 2 1/2 years I've not stuck with it for the long haul. I've been a yo-yoer about exercise and diet and I need to make a lasting commitment to my health. I know how I should and want to be, I just have a terrible time making the changes and sticking to them. At some point I always rebel. Which is silly since the only person I'm rebeling against is myself! Dumb logic!

Today looks like it's going to be a nice day. Perhaps Owen and I will take a walk. And speaking of my little man, he has risen!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

It was a wash...

Friday was a beautiful day for camping! Morgan came home early so we could load up the car and go. We went to a park about a half hour from home. Not too far in case we needed to come back for some reason. We arrived at the park about 4 and started getting set up.

Owen helped daddy set up the tent.We found a nice shady area for the tent.
Owen had a good time running around the site trying to catch bugs and playing hockey ball.
We roasted hot dogs over the campfire and had some smores. Owen had fun eating his marshmallows and chocolate. After the fire died down we went for a skate. Morgan and I both brought our in-line skates and the chariot for Owen. The park is on a lake and has lots of trails so we decided to go check out the lake and the play area near it. We were planning to take O there on Saturday to play. I was glad I brought my camera because the sunset was lovely.

After we got back to the site Owen wanted to break out the new lantern! By then the campground had filled up and there were lots of people with fires and lights and a few dogs. Owen had a good time watching all the people and the dogs.
It was a rough night sleeping with all three of us on one airbed and Owen did not settle down easily or quickly. Finally after turned off the night light on the lantern he went to sleep but woke up often in the night. Eventually I had to traipse to the bathroom but the moon was almost full so I didn't need the flashlight. I love seeing all the stars out at night in the country. So many more than we can see in the city!
So after a fitful sleep we woke to a bit of rain. But Morgan has listened to the radio and it was supposed to be spotty and clearing in the afternoon. The rain let up for us to eat breakfast and then started again. But then let up for some lunch. Owen and Morgan went for a bit of a walk and then a run. After lunch the rain started again so we decided to go for a drive around the park and hoped Owen would fall asleep. During our drive the rain picked up. We thought we'd wait it out in the tent with a nap. Owen had fallen asleep in the car but woke when got back to the tent. So we played and read and colored and waited. And waited. And waited some more. The tent began to leak. Morgan tethered the rain fly to keep the rain away from the the tent. We played a bit more and waited. And waited. And the campsite began to turn to mud. Finally about 4:00pm when it was clear the weather people were wrong and the rain was not going to stop we packed up and came home. This is where I need to tell you I am not a good camper. It is by far not my favorite vacation activity. Especially in the rain. Friday was great. We had a great time. I was enjoying it. Then the rain came. And basically the trip was a wash. Although Owen was disappointed we were going home. For most of the drive home he kept saying "more camping" "more camping".
Saturday night we had a fire in the fireplace and used out sandwich makers for campfire sandwiches and made more smores. We also watched a Shark Tale. Owen thought this was fun. Sunday morning Morgan got out the camp stove, set it up on the sidewalk and made pancakes just like we planned to do at the campground.
And I set up a table in the driveway and we had our breakfast picnic. Owen thought this was great. As we ate he kept saying "camping!" It was a great morning for a little breakfast picnic too.

Then later while Owen and Morgan were cleaning out the garage it began to rain again! It turned out to be a good thing we came home. Owen spent most of Sunday at Mimi's house and Morgan and I worked on projects around the house. Morgan got the garage cleaned up and I can get my car in there again!
So camping was a wash. Literally. But we still had fun despite the rain and there aren't two better people to spend a rainy camping trip with than my two favorite boys! And Morgan is already planning our next one! I guess I'm learning to like camping but I'm pretty sure I'm not ever going to enjoy it in the rain!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Thoughtful Friday...

"What else could you possibly do, that could ever be so important? Big people helping little people to be big themselves one day." -Starbucks Ad (I got the quote from the parent educator at ECFE)

My sister took this picture of Owen on Monday. I thought it was one of the cutest pictures of him ever. She got several others that were super cute too! He's a little ham!

I took Owen for his orthotic fitting today. He will be wearing an orthotic on his right foot to help with the over pronation as well as toe walking. Because of the spasticity in his calf & ankle he isn't able to put his heel down firmly. He was real good about wearing it as long as he had a shoe but he was not comfortable walking without one on. It's a rigid plastic that forms around his ankle and bottom of his foot. It has an opening across the top of the foot to fit it on and then a velcro closure. It's a good thing we had the next size of tennis shoe for him! (Thanks Naunee!) I've got to find him a comfortable pair of shoes for wearing in the house because he's supposed to wear it all the time. I was a bit upset by this because I don't want him to feel burdened or limited by it. I want him to be able to go barefoot. I want him to be able to do all the things that children should be able to do. But my mom pointed out that it probably won't hurt him to go barefoot on occassion and the brace will be a help to him in the long run. It's just that every so often I run into something that makes me butt heads with the idea of "disability" and I have to work through it and make peace with it. And having been in the waiting area with children who have much more severe and difficult things to deal with, I am thankful for all of Owen's abilities and our ability to help him.

We are off camping this weekend. Hopefully the weather will be cooperative and I won't be a sourpuss! Owen is excited to go but I hope he isn't too disappointed when he realizes that Ella won't be joining us this time. I've told him it will just be mommy, daddy and Owen but in his mind camping includes Ella!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Not so wordless Wednesday...

Here's my image for Wednesday. It's a lotus bud. But I've got words today too. I have a hard time posting a picture and not explaining it. And it's also 4:30am and I've been awake since about 3am and I thought some typing might help. So if this rambles, I apologize!

Today Owen and I go back to school! Tot class starts again. For me fall has always equaled structure. A routine, a schedule, something reliable and predictable. As I've mentioned before, I like staying home because I believe it's good for Owen. It's what is important to our family right now. But I don't always feel like it's what is best for me personally. But all good things usually come with sacrifice, right?

I also have my physical today. And it's not that I'm hoping my lab work or my doctor find something "wrong". I'm really hoping she is able to provide some answers to why I am so tired and feel like such crap most of the time. Although I think I can provide part of the answer myself. Poor diet, lack of good sleep and little to no exercise. Which will most likely be the answer she gives me!

Last night bedtime went a little better than it has been going. Owen still came out of his room twice but Morgan and I were firm with him about either going to the corner without dee-dee or going to bed. He wants to sleep with us. Which doesn't work for anyone! Finally I asked him who he wanted to take him back to his room, me or daddy. He decided on me. So I tucked him back in and told him he needed to stay there and I would check on him later. Which I did, but not until he fell asleep!

Despite his bedtime resistance I find myself wishing he would stay this age for awhile. He's so funny and has so much personality. He's very firm in his convictions. As I'm sure most toddlers are. But I just find this cute. Today we went for a walk with the wagon down to the boat landing. We go down occassionally to watch the boats or the ducks. On the way to the boat landing is the house where three boys live. The youngest is just 9 months older than Owen and they have a dog who will fetch and return. Owen loves the dog and the boys. On the way down he saw the boys and started saying, "Owen go there. Owen go there. Right there Mommy. Right there." If he could have reached me he would have taken my head in his hands and turned it toward where he wanted me to see. I of course knew exactly where "there" was and had to explain that we need to be invited to people's houses first. They also had company so I wasn't going to just stop. On the way back their company was leaving but the boys were also going in the house. Fortunately Owen isn't so adamant that he throws a fit everytime things don't go his way. I told him we would go home and play trains and wait for daddy to come home.

He really likes to play with other kids and I feel bad that I don't have a group of mom friends to hang out with all the time. Although I don't think a lot of moms do that anyway! So our group is the tot class. Also, the woman who lives behind us does daycare and she lets us come over often so Owen can play with the kids. Everytime he hears them outside he yells, "kids, mommy kids, Owen side, Owen side. Kafy's house!" Her name is Kathy.

So I struggle with my desire for order and routine and something to do all the time and the desire for Owen to just be a kid and not have those things imposed on him all the time.

And now that it's 5:00am I think I'll go back to bed!

Monday, September 08, 2008

A little experimenting...

I love HDR (High Dynamic Range Imagining) and I recently got a book about it from the library. But I didn't read it and then I had to return it. So I didn't really know how to do it or understand it fully. I still don't. But I did a little reading and basically it's make more use of light in a photograph to get more definition. (Dynamic range). The other night when I couldn't sleep I started thinking about this and decided I had a great image to experiment with. Here's what I did.

First I started with my original image. In PSE I ran an under expose and over expose action on it. I used Ren's Actions for this. I saved them each seperately as under and over and kept them open.

Next, I opened my original again so I had all three images open in PSE. Then I created a blank file the same size as the other three. I dragged each image into the new file creating three layers. I brought in the under exposed first, then the regular, and then the over. So the layers were as follows from top to bottom. Under, regular, over and blank background. I could have dragged the over and regular to the under file but that's now how I did it.

In the new file I changed the blending modes of each of the layers. I made the over layer soft light, the regular layer pin light, and the over layer hard light. These make the layers transparent but still leave the color in tact and add a little... something. I don't have a manual right now so I can't tell you exactly what each of those modes does. But the soft light is a little brighter and the hard light is a little darker. Then I flattened the image and below is the result.

Here is the original image. SOOC.

Here are the layers side by side.

And here are the layers with the blending modes applied before they image is flattened.

It was a fun little experiment that I had pretty good luck with and took me relatively little time. This is not always the case with my experiments in PSE! If you want to see more HDR photos go to flickr and put HDR in the search field. There are some great images. Owen and I looked at some really cool diggers in HDR yesterday!

On another note, we've been having a terrible time with Owen at bedtime. He goes to bed late and then he's in and out of his room a bunch of times. We've had the same bedtime routine with him since he was about 3 months old. He has a night light, he has a fan for some white noise, he has his blankets and Elmo and a bear. He takes a nap everday just fine. We've tried to explain that he needs sleep to grow and play but he's two so how much of that makes sense!? Anyway, tonight I had had enough. Morgan had laid with him for a bit and then I came in and laid with him. I left after about 5 minutes because he was grabbing my nose and being a pain. 5 minutes later he comes roaring out of his room screaming. I asked him what was wrong and he just laid down on the floor in the hallway. So I told him he either got in bed or he went to his corner in the living room. He ran off to the corner with dee-dee (his blanket). But before I got there I took dee-dee and told him if he wasn't going to go to bed he couldn't have dee-dee. This is the rule of the corner. No dee-dee, no books, no toys. Just Owen. He was not happy about this. I told him if he could have dee-dee when he decided to go back to bed. He got this loud and clear! When I asked him if he was ready to go back to bed he said yes and followed me and dee-dee back to his room. He climbed into bed, I covered him up with his dee-dee and big dee-dee (another blanket) and he went to sleep. HOORAY FOR MOMMMY! (insert victory dance here) I won a round with the two year old! Yes Mom, I know I'm bigger, older and smarter. But somedays it doesn't feel like it!

Wake up! Wake up! It's Monday!

Ah, Monday. It used to be my least favorite day of the week but now it doesn't really matter since I don't have to get up in the morning and go to work. As a matter of fact it's almost 10am and I'm still in my jammies. O, of course, is in a diaper. That seems to be his favorite apparel as of late. He had a fit last week when I put pants on him. And when we went to have lunch with my mom and sister he said, "mommy, no pants!" Anything more than a diaper is just too many clothes for him!

I've been thinking a lot lately about the politics that we are experiencing right now in the US. It's a big year and a lot of important things have taken place. And many more are still to come. What bothers me about the politics of our day is the rampant mud slinging. I want to know what a candidate stands for and not what they think the other candidate doesn't. It is difficult to learn what is in the heart of a person when they are too busy slandering another person. Which in fact, probably speaks volumes about their character.

I don't profess to be a democrat or a republican or even an independent for that matter. My process is to listen to the candidates, some non-partisan people (is that possible) and investigate their stance on the issues that are important to me. It is my hope that I am making an informed and educated decision, rather than just aligning with a party because it's supposed to stand for what I believe in. I want the person I vote for the stand for what I believe in.

Last night at church our pastor preached on the text in Colossians 3 about rules for holy living. 3:12-14 says, "therfore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, wich binds them all together in perfect unity." This text tells us how to live. One does not need to be an ardant follower of Christ or even a Chrisian for that matter to exemplify the characteristics which Paul describes in this text. How different would politics, government or any corporation be if the candidates, elected officials or managers set this text as their guide for working and living? How different would we all be and the world be if we lived with this in our hearts? Our pastor was honest and said that it's near impossible for us to live up to this call. We are not perfect. Nor will we ever be until we are made perfect with God. But we can try. We can put effort into our journey.
Morgan's boss recently admitted to an employee who was leaving that he knows how he is. That he knows his people leave because of him and his ways. But he made it sound as if it was enough that he admitted that. That because he is aware of his mistreatment of his employees and negative behavior it is excusable. I wholeheartedly disagree with this. If one is intelligent enough to admit their faults he or she must also be intelligent and strong enough to change. To put effort into treating others with more care and compassion and respect. It is not enough to admit to sin, one must work to change, to live a life of love.
All of us will not written about in the history books or recorded as having achieved things as important as creating the light bulb or discovering electricity but our achievements are certainly recorded in the hearts and minds of our family and friends. It is important to leave a mark on those people of love and compassion and caring and not of hurt and mistreatment. I know this is a tall order. We are called to do what seems impossible. Everyday I know I've fallen short. I have not been as patient or kind or loving as I could have been. And it is daunting to get up the next day and try again. But it is what I'm called to do. As a Christian and as a human being.

Col 4:5 "Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone."

Friday, September 05, 2008

28 things @ 28 months...

In exactly 2 hours Owen will be 28 months old. And as I was lying awake at 1am I decided after almost an hour I'd get up and write this because when it was actually time for me to wake up I'd probably have forgotten all my good ideas and I would have time to write it anyway!

So here are 28 things about my toddler @ 28 months:

1. He's about 28 pounds and 34" tall. Give or take some ounces and bits of inches! I can't remember exactly how tall he was at the doctor the other day and he certainly won't hold still for me to measure him!
2. He loves to do the crazy naked baby dance. Which involves a lot of running back and forth and giggling.
3. He loves to throw things. Mostly balls and stuffed toys. But occasionally things that are not so soft too.
4. When coloring with markers he's always hit with an overwhelming urge to color on his body, which he always gives into and he only stops when I take the marker out of his hand. Then he points to where he colored and says "uh-oh!"
5. He has two burned fingers on his right hand from touching a burner last night. This resulted in a crying jag that lasted an hour and included a trip to urgent care where they gave him some motrin and determined the burn to be superficial. The crying finally ended when I tracked him and Morgan down at the grocery store ( I was working) where they were buying popsicles. I think Morgan was more upset than Owen.
6. When Owen says popsicle it sounds like pickle. This was confusing me for a bit but then I figured out what he was talking about. Silly mommy!
7. He's not happy about wearing pants now that the weather has turned cooler.
8. Actually, he'd really rather just wear a diaper. Or nothing, if I'd let him.
9. He calls his blanket dee-dee. Actually, all blankets are dee-dees, but there are two special ones and heaven forbid they go in the washer!
10. He can name at least 5 Seseame Street characters.
11. He likes to watch PBS shows.
12. I've lost track of how many words are in his vocabulary. It's a lot though and he adds more everyday. I love his little voice.
13. He likes to wear his crocs almost exclusively. So glad I bought that pair of sandals at the Bass store! And I really don't know what we're going to do when it snows.
14. He likes to paint. Yesterday he painted a rainbow. It was mostly green and blue but he had the design right.
15. Waffles are his favorite breakfast food.
16. When he says yogurt it sounds like "yoburt".
17. He loves going to the bookstore because it has a train table. Every time I say we are going to the store he says "bookstore". And when I tell him it's just Target he says "later". Meaning we will go to the bookstore later. Which I guess is true. To him, later is whenever we go there next.
18. It's great fun to him to poor big cup fulls of bathwater onto the bathroom floor. I don't find this as fun. When I try to get him to stop he usually tries to douse me with a cupfull too. Still not fun.
19. It's also great fun to "swim" in the bathtub and see how much water can be splashed out of the tub. Or just splash it out and yell "splash" while doing it.
20. He loves to "showber" too. (shower). When either of us goes to shower he says "Owen showber too" and starts pulling at his clothes. Or diaper since he seldom wears clothes!
21. He loves balls. Hockey balls, basketballs, footballs, any kind of balls. He can't have too many and they can all be hit with his hockey stick!
22. He likes to give hugs. Especially the kind where he can get a running start. And he usually gives the person he hugs a little pat on the back while hugging them.
23. Daddy=fun, Mommy=comfort.
24. Mimi=fun, the castle, swimming and juice boxes.
25. Naunee knows how to get the meow to stay still while Owen pets her. Naunee also equals LOTS of fun.
26. He can recognize his family members in pictures. Including his grandma & grandpa that live in Montana and doesn't see as much.
27. He loves to play in the neighbors backyard with the daycare kids. When he hears they are out there he yells "kids!" and runs to the door and then yells "Owen outside! Caffy's house".
28. He is loved a ton!

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Still here...

Not a long post today. Just one to say I'm still here. With crazy, screaming, running (or dancing as he calls it) water-throwing, staying up late toddler.

The weather is great. Nice and cool and not humid. I love it. Great for sleeping. Even better if I could sleep through the night. And because of that I'm very tired this week.

I survived the blood draw on Tuesday for my physical. I was brave! I went by myself. I told the girl I needed to lay down and I didn't get all freaked out about it. When she was done I sat up, felt fine and drove myself home!

And now lunch is over. Time for handwashing, Word World, and a nap. Oh the nap!