Wednesday, July 28, 2010

All By Herself

I went to help Lillian brush her teeth last night and she put up her hand, and said, "No mommy, I can do it all by myself!"  I thought, well this should be cute...or interesting.  So I grabbed my camera.

She did it! 

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


Notice the post below is untitled!  THAT is how busy we've been.  I always thought it was funny if someone forgot to title a post.  Well, now I understand!

I love the go-go-go days of summer.  Relaxing the routine a bit.  (Relax...not completely throw out the window!)  Being a little more flexible and spontaneous.

But I try and equally balance those days out with ones where we're home, in routine, and catching up sleep.  Because, take my word, the kids will lose their heads if I don't.  And I'd prefer not to reap those consequences.

So this morning, instead of rushing out of the house to they gym, we're going to lay low and get some things done around here.

A few little updates on everyone:

Olivia - she's in summer piano lessons right now.  She just started and is taking to it just like her mutha!  Flying through songs, looking ahead to teach herself.  Her teacher has been very impressed with how easy it comes to her!  Very proud mommy!!!

Landon - well, he's still being Landon.  We're working very hard on teaching him to be gentle with his sisters.  To protect them!  There's been a little blood drawn lately, but I felt like we really had a breakthrough the other day.  Usually after the incident, consequences, and talk, he would still be really angry.  I felt like I wasn't getting through to him.  Well, finally, after the fiasco, he came out of his room with a changed heart.  Apologized to me and his sister, and then chose to move on with a happy heart!!!   PROGRESS!!!  But probably one of those "2 steps forward, one step back" type of things.  But it was a small victory in my world.

Lillian - weighs 24 lbs.  Light as a feather I tell ya.  The doc said she was less than 5%.  But as we all know, she's quite far developmentally!  At church last Sunday, we found that she was put with the kindergarden and up room.  They said she was upset in her 3 year old room, so instead of calling us out, they put her with Landon.  And she probably fit in better there than the 3 year old room!!!  I also heard her singing, "Alejandro, alajandro...." in her sweet little girl voice the other day.  But that's another story. 

Rhodes - is another little squirt.  He weighs 16lbs 4 oz.  Another less than 5% baby, but the doc isn't concerned!  He's about to be full on walking.  Definitely before his 1st birthday!  I can't believe he is almost ONE!!!  He's quite the squealing happy baby these days.  But those squeals can be SO LOUD.  Happy, but LOUD!  And as I type this he is desperately trying to get to the dog food.  We find him with full cheeks every once in while! ;-)

And last, but not least some pics.  The kids came home with one of these a couple of weeks ago!

And toys are SOOOO overrated!  Pots and pans much cooler.

Monday, July 26, 2010

No time to type! We're off to the gym and to do more of this!!! To hot to do ANYTHING else. And staying home is BORING! ;-)  Just makes blogging pretty hard. 

One day this week we'll stay home - it's all about balance!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Hard To Blog When You're Not Home

Hello Friends!!!

This is the first morning I haven't dashed out of the house between 8:00 am and 9:00 am!  Only to return in the afternoon for nap/rest time!  Followed by chores, playtime, dinner, and bed!

Oh, and I kinda approached another year closer to 30 this week!  ;-)  EEEK!  But that's all we'll say about that!

Here's how we've been filling our days!!!

I'm also still trying to get a good pic of Rhodes for the Gerber baby contest.  But I can't seem to get the right one. 

I wish he was smiling in this one....I still like it though. 

I'm sure I'll get one soon!

I've got a date with Robert tonight....that he planned HIMSELF!  Babysitter and all.  So I'm trying to think of some things to do before or after dinner.

Any ideas???

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Party

Sorry for no Monday post!!!  Monday seems to be a popular day on my blog counter....but we were recovering from all the FUN from this past weekend!!

We celebrated Robert (again) this weekend!  Guess that's what happens when you hit a milestone like 30!  ;-)  We decided on an adult pool party SANS KIDS!!  No worrying if someone was going to fall in, no breaking up arguments, no every-5-minute potty breaks - it was pure awesomeness.

The friends:

The cake:

The beverages - had to get in to get one! ;-)


And RACES!!!!  Brought back all my swim team memories!

I also learned that it is NOT fun to swim against people who are a head talker than you with freakishly long legs and arms.

A few chicken fights here and there....and someone wasn't playing nice.  Achemm....Mac.  Yes, he's going for what you think.  ;-)  He fights dirty.

Then the girls gave it a try!  Abby won.  Lacey lost.

Lacey made this poster for us!  Hilarious, right!?

After all was said and done, we packed up and headed home.  I had driven the Lexus (our extra car) and left the van for the babysitter in case she felt up to leaving with all the kids since we were going to be gone for so long.

So I'm driving home, I notice the gas is low (but not that low), and all the sudden the car shuts off.  Mind you, it's 9:30 at night, I'm wet and in my bathing suit.

The car shuts down almost in the middle of an intersection.  Then my hazard lights stop working!!  I've been making calls and help is on the way.  Long story short, we got some gas, the car was dead.  Tried to jump it - not happening.

So the police officer (who thankfully showed up as I was getting out of the car and on the sidewalk  - didn't want to get hit) and the other birthday boy, pushed Robert down the hill and he coasts down to my parent's house...which wasn't too far away - Praise the Lord!

Then I drove Robert's work truck, picked him up and we headed home.

He thinks it's the alternator!

I'm sure this police officer thought we were crazy!  We were all half wet, some of us late at night.  He had a sense of humor about it.  I'm just glad he didn't ask too many questions! :-)

It was so fun swimming and playing with everyone!  Who knew the pool can still be fun when you're older!!  I know the kids were bummed they couldn't come...but oh well.  They got to finish off the cake for us! ;-)

Friday, July 16, 2010

Convos With Lillian

Unloading the phone

This one is from February. The kids and Robert just being silly.

The next few are from my LONG wait in the doctor's office and my attempt to talk to Lillian.

I got a few cute things out of her.  



Thursday, July 15, 2010

Gerber Baby

Literally. is looking for another Gerber baby!  The winner wins $25,000 of scholarship money!  I want to submit Rhodes....and I think y'all should submit all your babies too!!!

So I tried to have a little photoshoot with him yesterday while Olivia was at her piano lesson.

It was 4:30 and super sunny!  I did find some shade, but it still wasn't that twilight light that is so nice!

ISO 160 f/3.2 1/400

I kept my ISO low (160) then all the way down to 100 because I wanted the pics as crisp as can be.  The shutter I first set at 3.2.  Because I wanted all his face to be sure to be in focus.

Oh, and I used my 50mm 1.8 lens.  Because we all love the fuzzy background.  ;-)

ISO 160 f/3.2 1/400

When I shoot on manual I also glance out through my camera to see what range of shutter speeds its says will need - by looking at the light meter.  With so much light, they were going to be pretty fast.  And I needed it fast because Rhodes was wiggly. 

ISO 100 f/3.2 1/320

But the photo that I want to submit is definitely one where you see the sparkle in his eyes.  I would go back and get one from my archives but the picture you submit has to be taken within the last 30 days. 

ISO 100 f/2.8 1/400

Here I opened up the aperture a little wider...again going for the blurred out background look. 

ISO 100 f/2.8 1/400

He was squealing and crawling around on this little platform.  Boy, he just wouldn't sit still for long.

ISO 100 f/2.8 1/400

ISO 100 f 2.8 1/320

But I still couldn't capture that sparkle in his eye that I know he's got!

ISO 100 f/2.8 1/320

Slowed the shutter speed down a notch to see if it would get his eyes any better.  Just blew out the background a little. 

ISO 125 f/4.5 1/250

THEN, I bumped my aperture up to f/4.5 so I could get even more depth of field - increases the area that will be in focus.

ISO 125 f/4.5 1/200

In closing up the aperture this much, I had to bump up my ISO to keep the shutter speed fairly fast.  And still in the ones where he claps, 1/200 wasn't fast enough to freeze them.

ISO 125 f/4.5 1/200

I think the hardest thing for me when switching over to shooting in manual was to train my eye to keep checking the meter inside my camera.  While still making sure my focus point was focusing where I wanted it.

I feel like I'm getting fast at making the adjustments and not missing the shot, but not always.

ISO 125 f/4.5 1/200

I'm pretty sure my meter was telling me I was overexposing this a good bit.  And that's where shooting in manual is good.  Because if I had taken the shot with it at "0", then you wouldn't have been able to see any detail on Rhodes' face.

ISO 125 f/4.5 1/200

See in these shots, it looks like from the back of his ears all the way to the front of his lips are in focus.  That's the f/4.5 aperture. 

ISO 125 f/4.5 1/200

Definitely going to keep trying to get the photo that I want to send it.  I'm sure I'll know when it's the one.
IF I could send in a pic right now, and it didn't have a 30 day limit on it, I'd send this one:

Those little sparkly eye are gonna help pay for his college!  Well, we hope!!!