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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Day 334

It got REALLY cold here today! The kids wanted to play outside after school so I suggested hat and gloves. Little did I know that would turn into a 20-minute hunt for Dominic's old Bakugan hat and gloves he had last winter. Oy! We finally found them and he wanted to vogue with them. What a cutie!!!


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Monday, November 29, 2010

Day 333

Dominic wanted to pose with our inflatable Santa this afternoon and he really wanted to hold hands with Santa. Shortly after this, he started misbehaving and I reminded him that Santa is watching and has a naughty list. This provoked a lot of questions... How does he hear me? How does he know what I'm doing? Where is he right now?

My answer: Magic.


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Sunday, November 28, 2010

Day 332

Thank you for all of your prayers. Our nephew's father passed away yesterday morning. How do you tell a 12-year old boy that news? (((Myles and Shelley))) Curtis has flown to Ohio to be with his family. Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with Cliff's family.

I *tried* to get a group photo of the kids today for our very first ever family Christmas card... but I'm not confident any of the shots are good enough. I've become a very tough critic of my own photos. Like this one... I like Dominic's pose, the exposure, and the light in his eyes, but his smile is awkward. He is so cute though, isn't he? I've already fussed with three photos, doing a head-swap and melding the photos together. Maybe we'll try again next week.


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Saturday, November 27, 2010

Day 331

I nearly didn't take a photo today because my husband's family got some very sad news today and we've been thinking of them nonstop. If you are the praying type, our Ohio family could use some prayers right now. Thanks.

My mom went to Pennsylvania to see her sister for Thanksgiving and brought back this delicious dark chocolate with almond bark. The picture does not do it justice. This is so rich and decadent that my mouth is literally watering looking at the photo. Thanks, mom!


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Friday, November 26, 2010

Day 330

We were in the car running errands, when this song came on the radio:

Look at Pickle's face when he listened to the lyrics! What a hoot!


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Thursday, November 25, 2010

Day 329

Thanksgiving. Family, food, gratitude. And traditions. Starting the morning with the Macy's Day Parade, digging out the inflatable holiday display for the front yard, and finishing the day with our family meal followed by football. Dominic started bugging Daddy early this morning to put up our blow-up decorations. It was a happy occasion! We usually wait to put up the Christmas tree until after Jenny's birthday on December 6th so this is just a little tease of what's to come.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!


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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Day 328

Jenny is home for Thanksgiving and she seems so much happier now that the decision has been made for her to come home for good at Christmas. I am so grateful for her presence in my life, I have really missed her. Today she is spending the afternoon and evening with Chris. They are preparing their own Thanksgiving meal together and putting up their own Christmas tree too. I love that they have their own traditions.


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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Day 327

We were playing outside after school this afternoon (gosh it was a perfect afternoon weather wise) and Dominic wanted some grapes. I asked him, "Do you want a few or a lot?" He replied, "I want 8!" I laughed, saying, "That is very specific, Dominic." Then he sat on a bucket and I grabbed my camera and asked him again how many grapes he wanted. He said, "15!" I keep goading him... "15? Are you sure?" "YES!" "You want 15 grapes?" And that's when he got in my face, yelling, "YES, 15!!!" That is this photo. :)


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Monday, November 22, 2010

Day 326

So Curtis signed Dominic up for a youth basketball league and tonight was the first practice. Pickle is one of the youngest kiddos and the most inexperienced. It was such a hoot watching him bumble around (he can't even dribble a ball yet). But this is for fun and learning and everyone has to start somewhere. I love this shot... look at his right leg. This is so Dominic and I love that I captured it. The gym was dark, I had to shoot at 3200 ISO and wide open so my shutter speed wasn't nearly as high as I needed it to be. But you get the gist. :)


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Sunday, November 21, 2010

Day 325

The Boy Scouts had an event today called the Rain Gutter Regatta. Curtis and Dominic (cough, Curtis) made a boat out of wood yesterday, then painted and assembled it today. The boys met up with the pack at the annex this afternoon for the big race. Dominic won third place in his first race and first place in his second! Yay, go Dominic! He was so proud of himself when he got home. These are the first ribbons on his cork-board in his room. :)


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Saturday, November 20, 2010

Day 324

One of our weekly traditions is that when the kids have a good week at school, they get to go shopping or go on a special outing with one of us. Anna usually goes to Goodwill with Daddy to buy George or Audrey a new baby outfit. Today, Curtis challenged her to pick out her outfit, take it to the register, interact with the cashier, pay by credit card and sign the slip (!), then say thank you all while Daddy watched from a safe distance. Guess what? She did it!!! WTG, Anna and Daddy! You both rock!

I took this photo playing outside this afternoon. Of course, Audrey accompanied us and wore her new outfit. :)


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Friday, November 19, 2010

Day 323

Just playing outside this afternoon on a lovely fall day. Dominic had a good week, 3 green days and 2 yellow days. I'm going to take him out to eat tomorrow as a reward to Chuck-E-Cheese (he loves that place!). It makes me happy for him that he's turned over this bad spell of behavior at school. I hope the weather stays this nice for our Thanksgiving break.

Processed with Florabella's Gypsy action from the Luxe collection.


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Thursday, November 18, 2010

Day 322

I realized last month that I totally forgot to get the children their annual well-child checkups! So today I took Anna and Dominic in together to see Dr. G. It's nice to visit him when the children are healthy!

Anna is 9 years old, weighs 96 pounds and is 57.5" inches tall. That puts her in the 90th percentile for height and weight. I should really go back to the child hypotonia board on iVillage to post that update... from 6 months to age 3, Anna was never on the chart and was considered failure to thrive. Look at her now! There are some concerns about her low tone causing some physical issues, but there isn't really anything we can do about it. She is otherwise doing well.

Dominic is 6 years old. He weighs 47.7 pounds and is 47.75 inches tall. Isn't that funny? 47 and 47? That puts him in the 46th percentile for weight and 60th percentile for height. He is doing very well overall.

They both got their FluMist vaccines and we were done. It went well but I swear I'm never taking them together solo again, lol! In this photo, I was having Anna practice laying down and tilting her head back to get the FluMist so she wouldn't be so scared. She looked so cute that I got a quick photo.


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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Day 321

Sometimes, I nail one. A good shot that is! I love the exposure, focus, catchlights, white balance (though I had to tweak it in ACR), and most of all, the smile. The boy. His spirit. His love. Being his mom. I love.


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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Day 320

Sometimes, it's not about the photo... it's about the memory. And Dominic requested this one.

Daddy took Anna and Dominic to the Snake Farm on Saturday. It's about an hour south of us and houses snakes, lizards, spiders, monkeys, big cats, and goat, deer, and horses. Basically, everything a 6-year old boy loves.

On the way out, Daddy bought Anna a snake toy and Dominic this alligator toy. They were a fraction of this size to begin with, then you put them in water... they've been in water since Saturday. You can see how much the gator has grown! Dominic is thrilled with this thing. I like how his head ended up upturned.

So, here's the photo and the story for Dominic to enjoy in the years to come. :)


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Monday, November 15, 2010

Day 319

Jenny just couldn't bring herself to leave yesterday. And she had a really hard time heading back today. She left in tears which made me cry too... she hasn't made very many friends in Corpus and is terribly homesick. Most of the kids go out and party and that's just not her scene, so she feels like she doesn't fit in. Isn't that the worst feeling? I think we've all felt that way one time or another. We'll definitely get her back here for her sophomore year. I'm so super proud of her, it makes my heart ache and my throat get tight.


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Sunday, November 14, 2010

Day 318

Today, Curtis and I took the kids (all of them! Jenny was home this weekend too) to Innerspace Caverns in Georgetown. I was really excited to take my new camera underground and bump up the ISO (I went up to 3200). I ended up with some really cool shots (there are more in my Photostream). This cavern is amazing, full of unusual formations and tiny bats. We had a great day!


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Saturday, November 13, 2010

Day 317

It was late evening and the children and I were at my mom's house. I looked over to see her cat sitting on the nightstand and the lighting was so dramatic that I had to snap a photo. I blew the highlights, but captured the drama and ambience. He is a gorgeous cat! And I really, really love this camera. Happy sigh.


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Friday, November 12, 2010

Day 316

This was one of the most perfect days I've had in a long time. I woke up to two pieces of good news... 1) (and this is HUGE!!!) I was accepted to the Art Crew at 9th & Bloom!!! This digital scrapbooking store houses my favorite designers and has some of the industry's best scrappers on board. It is an incredible honor to be on the site CT here and I am singing with happiness! 2) The second piece of happy news this morning was that the "Dreaming of Christmas" layout I did yesterday with AnnaBV's new kit, Letter to Santa, was featured on ScrapOrchard's Facebook page! Woot!

But the day didn't end there! I got a new pair of glasses, my first in years. It's so nice to see well after I take my contacts out. THEN, right after I got home from my eye exam, the doorbell rings and there is a bunch of flowers being delivered to me. What?! They are from my mom and the card says, "Blooms for the newest 9th & Bloom Creative Team star. Love, M." OMG, I got so choked up. How lucky am I to have a mom that "gets" what a big deal this is? Thank you so much, Mom!!! I love you! Aren't the flowers exquisite???

But there's MORE! I picked up the kids and guess what?!?!?!?!

Dominic got a BLUE day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This is the BEST possible behavior mark to get! I am so stinkin' proud of him!!! I also got a note from his teacher about what a good day he had. You all have NO idea how happy I am about this and what relief I feel in my mommy soul to see him proud of a good day. Gah, I'm all teary-eyed!

But the day doesn't end there either! About an hour after the kids are home, my cell phone rings and it's the local camera shop. They have my new (used) D300 cleaned and ready to pick up. I nervously ask about what they found. Guess what? (A little backstory... I bought this camera from Craigslist last week and the guy was vague about its history and once I got it home, realized the box said "reconditioned product" and I had that horrible sinking feeling that I'd been scammed. I was so embarrassed about it that I couldn't even celebrate the purchase.) The camera checks out great! It's in perfect condition! Woot!!! So now I can really relax and enjoy my new camera, I can scrap with my favorite designers and their products, I can relax a little about Dominic, and I can enjoy my bouquet of gorgeous flowers.

What a freakin' good day. I sure needed it!


Thanks for looking and celebrating with me!!!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Day 315

I was outside late this afternoon on our back deck taking photos of the sunset when I looked over and saw this rose in the side yard. So pretty! So I cut it and took it to my kitchen. I love playing with texture so I added Jessica Drossin's Murmur texture to this it and I'm quite pleased with the effect.


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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Day 314

My sweet pickle... I don't know what I'm going to do with him! Curtis and I met with his first grade teacher last week and discussed his behavior problems. They are significant. We put a few ideas on the table and this week started off better. But yesterday was another really bad day and the teacher emailed us a long letter last night.

I think we're going to invite the behavioral therapist to observe him as well as the school's psychologist. His teacher wants to start him on a behavior plan. Really? I look at this sweet face and wonder why things have to be so darn hard!?!


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Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Day 313

I'm shooting with my D40 and kit lens today, sob. I bought the D300 last week from Craigslist and took it to the local camera shop today to get cleaned and checked out. They're cleaning my prime lens too. I haven't used this zoom in so long, I forgot how nice it is to be able to zoom in closer on your subject.

Today's photo is inspired by this week's creativity challenge at Clickin' Moms: Groups of Three... "There’s something special about threes in art; the Rule of Thirds is obviously a good example of the prominent role of three in artistic composition. Notably, elements in groups of three can also strengthen an image’s composition - perhaps because many people unconsciously impart religious and/or cultural significance to such a grouping. Three items together creates a pleasing sense of balance and repetition." When I saw the three birds on the wire, I knew this would be a great photo for this challenge.

Processed with Florabella's Mademoiselle action from the Luxe collection.


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Monday, November 8, 2010

Day 312

Happy 41st Birthday, Curtis/Daddy/Pa/Honey!!! We love you so much!


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Sunday, November 7, 2010

Day 311

Today Curtis and I took the kids to Congress Avenue near downtown Austin. We strolled, we window shopped, we ate at a place called HopDoddy's, we strolled some more, we took a LOT of pictures, we got ice cream, and I got a Free Hug (see my photostream!). I love this shot of my little family, but I was missing my Jenny. This silhouette makes me very grateful for all that I have. I am very, very lucky.


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Day 310

Ack, I'm a day behind! This photo is from yesterday. I had the family outside to take some staged photos for a Thanksgiving gratitude project when I snapped this quick one of Anna gazing out at the field. I don't know what she was thinking but I wish I could step into her mind at this moment.


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