Wednesday, November 28, 2012

say cheese....

I have been taking photographs for a few years now.  I really have enjoyed it.  More than I thought I would.  And now with the Monster, I find I am always shooting!

My hubby bought a Cannon Rebel xTI for his work years ago.  I of course stole it.  I even took a class two years ago to get familiar with my DLSR.  It was a pretty good class, but what I realized and what the professor emphasized is that artistry and creativity cannot be taught.  Hard to swallow at first since I don't really consider myself creative, but I knew he was right.  Thankfully it didn't sway my stubborn nature.  I still get out and challenge myself to shoot what I love.  Mostly candid shots of people I love.  Those are the easiest subjects.

This weekend a friend of mine asked if I'd be willing to take their family pictures.   I jumped at the chance.  To really expand my scope sort of speak.  It was a really cool experience.  It only lasted about 35 minutes as both of us were in a hurry and we had a busy toddler to contend with.

But I must say.  They didn't turn out to shabby.  I hope I get more opportunities like this.

Here are some from that day!

Thank you B. Family for letting me torture you with my camera!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

light reading...

I was actually able to carve out some quiet time and read today.  I wish it was under better circumstances, but you must take an opportunity when it arises.

Today, I took my friend to her doctor appointment.  She was getting ouchy steroid treatments and wouldn't be able to drive home.  The hubby watched the monster and I snuck away to the hospital for a few hours.

I brought a book.  I knew I'd be waiting for a little bit and I didn't want to waste any precious time.  I had read the first book published by this author, The Happiest Baby on the Block.  Have you read it?  A good read.  It talks about the 5 S's.  Made sense to me.  So I bought the follow up book.

So far, so good.  Right now it is discussing how to prevent tantrums, and blowouts.  Mostly by meeting your toddler where they developmentally are at.  Not to talk to them as little adults or mini kids.
Again, made sense.  Enough sense that I might even continue to read it.

Anyone else read this? Or any other instructional manual on how to raise a smart, non-bratty, appreciative toddler? :)
Thanks in advance!


#2 two....the saga continues

My last post on this topic was some months ago. Number one or Number two? Where I mentioned that the hubby isn't really on board for having another offspring.  As he put it, he was 90/10.  90% being no.  Pretty painful to hear and pretty awful to consider.

Well, since then I have gently played around with the idea.  Dropping little cute "sprinkles" of what baby number two would be like.  And I thought it was working, my creative technique.  I had even started imagining what it would be like, siblings screaming at each other, pulling each others hair etc.  And I thought he was coming more on board when he put Max's baby swing in the garage and didn't have me sell it.  Right???

Sadly, when I was "sprinkling" the other night, he stopped me and repeated those words I tried to erase from my mind.  "I just don't know if I have it in me to have another kid".  Ouch.  Like a knife in the uterus.

I instantly got quiet.  And not in a punishment sort of way, but more out of shock...and fear.  Fear that my perfect little family wouldn't be as large as I had hoped.

Like I have mentioned before, the hubby and I weren't 100% sold on procreating in the first place.  We had actually even said out loud that we wouldn't have kids.  We had far better things to do, lol.  But then my clock hit, more like a tap, but it couldn't be ignored.  I was able to convince the hubby and paint a pretty picture of sleep-full nights, and a cooperative baby.  But now he is far to aware of what it takes, and its scares him.  I can't fault him for that.

But what do I do?  My body, and heart are beginning to yearn for another.  And not because I am baby crazy, but because I am family crazy.  I have this perfect little family right now and why wouldn't I want it to grow.

I am trying to meet the hubby where he is at.  I listen and I share in his fears.  I gently explain my craziness as to why I want to go through all "that" again.  And simple put it is because I feel that we as parents have the privileged to raise and love our children.  We are able to spend a 18 short years with them before they run away and build a life of their own.  And with that said, I want to enjoy this experience with no regrets and to the fullest of our potential.

The saga continues.......until the next conversation.

Monday, November 26, 2012

mom jeans....

Before baby, I swore I would never "let myself go".  I would never be the mom that was feature on What Not To Wear who was in desperate need of a make over.  The mom who only pulled her hair back in a pony tail, didn't pluck her eye brows, comfortably sporting a uni-brow and pranced around in mom jeans.

Nope, not me.  I would continue with my fabulousness.  Heels, a full coat of makeup and freshly washed hair.

Oh how priorities slip out the window.  Although my uni-brow is under control, the pony tail is in full effect.  The mom jeans have not made there way into my wardrobe, know what is making its self way too comfy.  Active Wear.  That's right.  I am wearing them right now as I type.  And even though I had purpose for putting them on this morning as I went to work out, there is no good reason why they should still be on me some twelve hours later.

I could of let this pass.  Ignored the obvious.  It wasn't until I starting putting them down on my "Santa list" that I knew there was a real problem. Am I now asking Santa for active wear?  Where have my priorities landed?  Where have the requests for spa days and perfume gone? Gift cards to Sephora and Nordstroms?

NO, I will not fall into the abyss of ease and comfort! NO! Tomorrow is a new day and I will wear some skinny jeans and cute boots damn it.  And I will shower and blow dry my hair. Maybe even apply some lip gloss.

I will not let myself go!

Mission impossible?


Mission accepted!

Sunday, November 25, 2012


Research suggests that music is the only thing that stimulates all areas of the brain simultaneously. 

 I sing Max two bed time songs a night....who knew I was doing such a good deed.  Could my awful singing actually be creating a baby genius?

I seriously doubt my singing is having a positive effect on him.  Most likely it is stunting his cognitive development, or scaring him emotionally. But heres hoping!

 Thank god for Kindermusik.  Maybe it can reverse some of the damage I may have done.

We were going every Monday in Cali and will probably pick it up when we return.  So far, so good.  Its nice to have the kiddies play and for us adults to get in some social time too.

If only there was wine available!

Look how cute we all are!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

It's beginning to feel a lot like...

Hope every ones Thanksgiving was wonderful, full of yummy treats and little drama.  Unless that's your thing, then lots and lots of drama :)

Ours was wonderful.  I think next year I want to double the size of our turkey.  This year I have managed to eat all our left overs in a day.  Not good.  I am still unsatisfied and feel like I need a lot more turkey, gravy, stuffing and pie.  Its probably a good thing I don't as my pants are feeling real snug already.

On Black Friday, as tradition goes, we went and got our Christmas tree.  At Home Depot of course.  Last year we were a lot more country and I actually cut my own tree in Vermont.  This year, we settled for some good ol' modern city fun.

We pulled all our ornaments outs and began to trim the tree.  I love looking at all our ornaments we have collected through the years.  My favorite, one from 2002.  The hubby and I's first Xmas together. Ahhhhhh.  As I hung it, I thought to myself....lil presumptuous we were.  Creating a clay ornament, cementing our union.  Now that's commitment folks.

I have a few unwrapped gifts under the tree and it is slowly staring to feel like Christmas.  Love this time of year, and I hate how fast it comes and goes.

Oz getting his yearly Thanksgiving meal. And yes that is a bib :)
Black Friday Tree extravaganza...
roaming the Depot
This is me, last year, cutting down my own damn tree!

Savor the moment.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012


"Its is a miracle if you can find true friends, and it is a miracle if you have enough food to eat, and it is a miracle if you get to spend your days and evenings doing whatever it is you like to do, and the holiday season-like all the other seasons-is a good time not only to tell stories of miracles, but to think about the miracles in your own life, and to be grateful for them."

Lemony Snicket, THE LUMP OF COAL

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Gobble gobble

Like everyone we are getting ready for our Thanksgiving gorge-fest.  I think this will be the 10th year we have hosted the festivities at our house and I love it.  Hate the clean up, but love the traditions.  Finally I am starting to get the food out warm, and all at the same time. Practice makes perfect.  Now I don't want to fool anyone, I am not a "from scratch" type of cook.  Although I would like to be.  The hubby is just a fan of stove-top stuffing, and cranberry sauce in the can.  So I prepare the bird, open cans of corn, and pop pre-made rolls in the oven.  Classy!

One day though, I will venture out and make my own homemade stuffing, and cranberry sauce.  And maybe even a pie.

I can't be the only one?  Surely you all don't make your meals ALL by you?

Although the holiday season snuck up on me, I can now say BRING IT! I am ready.  Bought our Christmas cards.  Purchased some cute stocking stuffers and will be trimming the tree this Friday!

Love this time of year!!!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Where does the time go?

Seen these before?  

Where does the time go?  
I am sure people without monsters wonder what it is we do all day.  I know I did before Max came along.  I'd wonder why my friends didn't want to go back to work. "God, won't you be bored"? Or, "How can you just hang with a little kid all day long".

Oh how ignorance is bliss.  Even my hubby has made the mistake of saying, "why are you tired/burnt out/grumpy, didn't you get a nap in today?"      

       Oh, he paid for that one ladies!

Its funny he even thinks that.  Five hours with the monster and he is spent.  Hair standing straight up and bags under his eyes.

Oh sure. My day is filled with ease.  Birds come through my window and help me fold the laundry.  Baby dear come in a help with the chores.  Its bliss! Pure bliss.  And we all whistle while we work!

If that was the case, I'd be popping babies out right and left.  Cause I genuinely do love being a mama.  But it comes with its fair share of work, and challenges. 
Did I mention work!

Here is a lil sneak peak into my day.....

6:30am-woken up by a crying monster
7:00am-out of bed, get snack and milk ready.
7:15am-Hubby so graciously gets me some coffee.
8:00am-feed the monster breakfast.
8:20am-clean food off the monster, dress him for the day.
8:30am-make mama presentable and less scary for the public
9-10:00am-Baby Boot Camp, or library, or play date.
12:00-lunch or snack.  I usaully scarf down what he didn't.
1:00-Nap time! Hallalujeah (I won't lie, I catch a few Z's here     myself, and catch up on blogs)
2:30 or 3:30-Wakie Wakie
3:45-snack time, again
4:00-Cailliou (mama cleans house)
4:30-Quiet play (more cleaning)
5:00 get dinner ready for monster!
5:30-DADDY'S HOME (break time for mama)
7:30-Bath time. Mama gets dinner started for hubby and I.
8:00-Nighty night time.


That is where the time goes ladies and gentlemen. 

Now off to do it again.....

good to be home...


After two days and 15 hours in the car, we are finally back in Seattle.  It is so nice that we spend two nights in Bend to break it up.  I even got to sneak in a movie with my girlfriend, san monsters which was nice.  And yes, I went to go see Twilight.  SO What :)  It's the end of the saga.

We arrived to our Seattle home in the rain no less, but it was still perfect and picturesque.  The Sounders (our soccer team) were playing today so our streets were humming with fans anticipating a win.  This didn't happen sadly, but the fans here to do not seem to be fair weathered.

I do love the smell of rain.  I just don't love it for six months.  Our home is just how we left it.  Cozy and familiar.  Max was so excited to be reunited with his toys.  His car and train set.  I could barely pull him away for them. And I was happy to see my fall clothes and boots.  Oh how I missed my boots.

My sister swung by as well as my neighbors.  It was great to see them and catch up.  How long 7 weeks seems to be.  That's the one thing that trumps California.  Friends and family.  Knowing that down the street or hall is someone you can confide in, laugh with and just be.

I look forward to reacquainting myself to this great city.  Walking to the market, grabbing a hot cup of coffee and a piroshki.  Seeing all the twinkling lights paving the way for the holiday season.

There is no place like home!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Homeward bound

Thank you Stockton! It's been fun! Thanks for the memories! See you in April!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Depression stinks

source:google image
Melancholy, the blues, sadness, grief, what ever you wanna call it, it stinks.

I have been dealing with depression since I was about 15.  Well that is when I got the lovely diagnosis anyways.  Back then, depression wasn't really friends with pop culture like it is now.  I didn't really know anyone then who was also experiencing depression, although in hindsight I bet a lot were.   Pretty lonely place back then.  An overwhelming feeling of sadness.  A feeling that something was indeed broken, but you have no idea where or how to fix it.  I had lost my mother, but how does one cope with that at 15? There was no instructional book or a bandage big enough for you to hold it all together.  So I spent a lot of days in bed.  I chalked it up to being a teenager.  All teenager sleep a lot, right? Except I never felt rested.  Sleep was more like an escape.  Escape from the numbness.  The emptiness.

Times, they did get better.  What doesn't kill you makes your stronger....right?

Well that and medication...and perhaps little sprinklings of therapy.

But still, even now I am not immune to that recurring broken feeling.  Its is sort of like those stupid commercials you see.  A dark cloud hovering over a sad little cartoon.  The crappy thing is now that cloud is now mixed with a storm called anxiety.  Anxiety is the real shiter! I'll delve into that beast at another time.  I suppose the good thing, the bonus, is now I have a name for it.  When I feel broken I now know its not permeant.  I know that this too will pass.

It would be great though If I could hide under my covers like I used to.  But Damn it, my little monster knows all my freakin' hiding spots!

Maybe its a good thing, not being able to hide.

So since that is no longer an option

I drink coffee..... or wine.  I vent.  I take a bath.  and I wait.

And sure enough, it moves on.

And I am right back where I need to be.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

just a lil stroll through the hood

I have to get out of the house everyday for my sanity and the sanity of the monster.  If we stay cooped up in the house, one of us is bound to lose it.

Typically I like to have a schedule for the week so I know what to plan for.  Usually it consists of Baby Boot Camp, the library, a play date or Barnes and Noble for story time.  But some times you just don't wanna get out of your PJ's.  Today was that day.  Max slept awful last night, which means mama slept awful as well.  I was hoping/wishing for the monster to sleep in but no such luck.  My dad has a saying, wish in one hand and shit in the other, see which one fills up faster.  Profound right.  Such an eloquent sentiment.  But you get it.

He was up as the sun began to rise.  His nose covered in crusty boogers.  Yup, lil man is getting a cold. Dang it!  No wonder he didn't sleep well.

So we took it easy.  Watched a little PBS, drank some milk and chilled.  Up until about 10 when both of us starting pacing the living room.  I convinced myself that now was the time.  We threw on some clothes and headed out for a peaceful walk in the hood.  I of course grabbed my camera.

I got a few cute shots, but mostly I just chased Max around.  He wanted to touch every car.  And every car he walked up to he would say.......OHHHH WOW! CAR.

So hard to get frustrated with him when he is so excited!

Click click click

Today I made it up in my mind that I was going to get some candid shots of my monster....damn it.  Now we all know how freakin' hard it is to get good shots of our Tasmanian toddlers, but I was determined!

It totally went better than I thought.  I picked a park close to our hood that had some decent leave coverage.  And just my luck, the monster passed out about 10 minutes in to the drive. At first I thought that my plans had been foiled.  But I wasn't going to give up so easy.  I pulled him from his cozy car seat and to my surprise he kept on sleeping.  So I grabbed a blanket, laid him down on it and snapped away.

He woke after about 10 minutes and so we walked around a bit.

Turned out to be a great day for a photo shoot!

Here's a little blast from the past. 
November 2011