Saturday, November 14, 2009
Since it gets dark so early and it's been a little chilly, we've been spending our evenings in front of the tv and our computer screens. Spring is a long way off, so we had to break this pattern.
In combination with the nice weather this weekend, I unplugged the tv. I do this from time to time. John still has his tv in the basement, but we don't spend much family time there. I unplugged the tv on Friday morning.
When I was getting his breakfast, I saw JT try the power button. Nothing. Try again. Nothing. Try another button. Nothing. Walk away. Look at toys. Pick up toy. Start playing.
He has asked a couple times to watch cartoons or a movie. But no meltdowns when I refuse. He thinks the "battery died" on the tv and we have proven ourselves to be less than efficient at replacing batteries, so he doesn't ask further.
We played outside a LOT, which is pretty usual for nice days. But we also got into some art things. Crayons and a coloring book lasted for more than the usual 5 minutes. Ok, it was 6 minutes, but I'll take it!
And I couldn't believe JT was completely enthralled with the watercolor paints tonight. Last time I tried painting he didn't want anything to do with it. But tonight, he found my little paint tray, asked what it was, and immediately wanted to get some paint for it. I put water in each well. He dabbed paint from the watercolor tray into each new spot of water, mixing colors along the way. I have to say, looking at some of what made it to the paper, he has an eye for color!
Monday, November 09, 2009
I've been thinking a lot about storytelling lately. Between reading to JT, devouring some fiction, and writing my own story for Ali's Yesterday Today class, it's on my mind frequently. I also listen to a podcast of This American Life and catch StoryCorps on NPR sometimes.
The other night JT wanted to read Good Dog Carl. This time, I had him tell me the story. Good Dog Carl is a picture book with just a few words on the first and last pages. John and I each read it a little differently. It was much more like a conversation than storytelling, though. He didn't understand the laundry chute because he's never seen one. So I spent some time trying to explain that. And he told me the dog was mean, though we've never told the story to portray the dog as mean. He must have just thought the Rottweiler looked mean. It was a wonderful way to see what he has taken from our readings of the book.
We aren't just reading stories, we are making them up, recitng tales, and discussing old stories, too. Becka mentioned Little Red Riding Hood the other day when she was here. Unfortunately for her, she then had to tell JT the story of Little Red. JT's Nana tells him the story of The Boy Who Cried Wolf. He looooves this story. I think she told it about 20 times in one weekend.
And the stories he makes up when he's rambling in the car or at bedtime? They are classics. The Halloween decorations from around the neighborhood have provided endless fodder for characters to his stories. He and roof cat have had some amazing adventures in his mind!
It occurs to me that storytelling may be a good way of encouraging learning. I think it appeals to his sense of adventure, forges a connection to loved ones and the world around him, and maybe even helps to develop critical thinking skills. Yet, when I peruse our vast collection of books around here, I have found we're lacking in the wordless books. I made a meager list of the two books we do have. You can find it here.
Won't you share with me the title of your favorite picture book? I can add suggestions to this list and hopefully develop it into something a little more substantial.
Thursday, November 05, 2009
I think it was on Sunday after we set the clocks back an hour. JT woke me up insanely early after spending most of the night in our bed kicking me in the head. While I was making coffee I noticed the sun was coming up, causing the yellow tree in the back yard to glow. There was frost, so the leaves were heavy and falling off at a slow, but steady pace. It's such a different feeling than when the wind blows warm, dry leaves from the trees... it's a much more peaceful way to usher in the next season.
For a moment I considered taking the video camera out and setting it up on a tripod to capture those leaves falling to the ground. But I didn't brave the cold (and stench of skunk) to go set it up. So now I'll just have to close my eyes and remember when winter is getting me down.
Hopefully the pictures will help me remember.
Wednesday, November 04, 2009
Tuesday, November 03, 2009
I got some slouchy calf-high boots to wear with skirts. What do you think? I'm not sure I'm a boots with skirts kind of gal, but it's certainly comfortable and these boots are so warm... I'm going to love them when it's cold out.
The fall color was just phenomenally beautiful last week. I don't know if it was a combination of activities, weather, and trees... but it was such a scenic and romantic time. Monday morning first thing I noticed was the missing colors from the leaves that had fallen. And then there's the lack of sunlight making my mood more somber. It has been an amazing fall for us. I have so many pictures still to process and share with you. In time... there will be plenty of winter for picture play, right?
One of the wonderfully romantic things we did last week was to take a nighttime walk around our neighborhood to see the Halloween decorations. (Sorry, no pics!) JT fell in love with an inflatable kitty he dubbed "Roof Cat". He has talked about the spider webs, witches, elephants, and tractors a lot. Yeah, I saw a witch and a cat, he saw an elephant and he won't let it go. Who am I to argue? He also saw a tractor where I saw none and there was apparently something hiding behind it. Ok, if you say...
Well, today he asked if we could go see Roof Cat, the witch, and the spider webs. I told him they were taken down already. He got tears in his eyes an his lip started to quiver. Oh, the fancy talking I had to do to defuse that puddle of tears.
So now we'll look forward to the excitement that Christmas will bring. It is going to be an amazing, wonderful holiday season.
How about you? What has been lovely in your world? What are you looking forward to?
Sunday, November 01, 2009
I'm scanning some pictures tonight for the Yesterday Today scrapbooking class I'm taking. I came across this picture and had a bit of a panic moment. Suddenly JT is grown, married, and has a kid of his own. Aack! My heart can't take it!
This is my brother in December of 1981. And he is grown, married, and has a baby girl. In this picture he's about 3 years old, just a little older than JT is now.
What caught my eye was the studious look on his face, the long eye lashes, the footed pajamas, and the piles of toys with an emphasis on trucks.
I'm having so much fun talking to JT right now. He tells wacko stories that are mash-ups of what has happened and what he'd like to happen. He says "pick me up like a rectangle". Which means to hold him horizontally like when he was a tiny babe. I have no clue why that's like a rectangle, but it makes me laugh. He always asks, "what brought me that shirt?" which means, who got him the shirt. It's funny that he asks that way and I love that he wants to know who to associate to some toy or shirt that he likes. And he'll say, "I have an idea." And when you ask him what his idea is, it's usually a truck or firetruck. "Good idea," I tell him.
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
We're actually well past ready for this step, we just had to wait for the Amish furniture store to finish up the board for us. JT has been able to get out of the crib for a while now. I think he got out 2 or 3 times. He just usually didn't try very hard to get out. He was much more likely to stand in there yelling "MOMMY!"
As you can imagine, the first thing you have to do when you get a new bed like this is to use it for jumping...
Monday, October 26, 2009
There really isn't a good way to catch you up on what we've been doing since I last posted in July. You'll have to follow on Facebook or Twitter if you want to hear the latest updates. Those updates are a bit more real-time. So for the blog, let's just jump in with something recent.
I'm still capturing our lives each month on the 12th. I'm loving this project. It's very exciting to have 10 layouts completed for this year. I love seeing the little things change. Like when JT moved from the high chair to the booster seat. And when he started potty training.
There's also security in the things that stay the same... like playing at the park, morning and bedtime routines, and drinking coffee- mmm,mmm.
Next year I want to change the layout up so I can feature larger photos and more journaling. I always capture more details of the day than I am able to share in this 8.5x11 layout. I think a 2-page 12x12 layout may be more the ticket next year. And it will probably still be digital because I can get those completed pretty quickly.
So if I start posting again, is anyone going to read? If you are still reading, leave me a comment. I'd love to know you're here!
Sunday, October 25, 2009
Monday, July 06, 2009
Our bedroom got a little facelift with some vacation photos. I'm not usually very good about getting pictures framed and put on display, but I was so in love with these shots. I ran right out and bought frames and ordered the enlargements. Plus, our room tends to be a little dark with that wall color, so these add brightness.
JT likes to point out the picture in the waves. He says, "Dada, big one?" John says, "Who's that big wave splashin'?" "Dada." "Who else?" *chuckles* "JT".
See the vacation pics here, here, and here.
Sunday, July 05, 2009
Really, what better way to celebrate independence day than with toddlers?
Lucas came to visit us for the 4th of July with his mom and dad. He's about two months younger than JT. These two are both very much asserting their independence at this phase.
We dragged them to the parade, forced them to eat experimental mashed potatoes, and made them stay up late for the boys' first ever fireworks. I think it might have been some fun, too. JT shared his toys and his parents' attention pretty well. He was only a little bossy with his house guest!
And unfortunately for Lynn, JT may have introduced "Wucas" to "ride the mama." Hope your knees hold up to all the horsey rides, Lynn!
I took off work on the 12th last month to have a day to get ready for vacation. Perhaps subconsciously I just wanted to be doing something interesting on the 12th, since it was "document-our-day".
The project is still going strong - it's the 6th month I've documented the 12th. Unfortunately, I haven't scrapped much else this year. I've made invitations for events, a couple mini albums, and these pages. That's about all I've had time to do.
Vacation was a BLAST. Always sad to see it go. I finally processed 400-some photos... so we are ready to document that trip, now. Coming soon...
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Today I attended a rally at the Ohio statehouse in support of library funding. The governor has proposed cutting state funding to libraries by up to 50%. It would be a devastating blow at a time when library usage is increasing and critical.
Please find out what you can do to support your library. Visit http://saveohiolibraries.com/ to find out more and stay informed.
Thursday, May 21, 2009
- Use hashtags to categorize. You can aggregate them into a single scrapbook layout later. Here are some good themes: #grateful, #prayer, #wish, #whatif, #proud (of someone & why).
- Fortunately/Unfortunately. There is this book I love on this very topic. And really, for every negative there is a positive and vice versa, right?
- CZ has mentioned dialogue. I love this. For me, I label my immediate family "Me", "JT" and John is "Hubz". Again, a great way to do a layout or aggregate the conversations that happen in your house.
- Picture this: the prefix to use for those times when your camera isn't handy. Write a blurb that describes the scene you wanted to photograph. Maybe if you get a collection of these, your eyes will begin to see things differently and your photos will evolve? I'm just projecting here.
- Tell a story as a knock, knock joke. I can't wait to try this.
- Say something... then pose as the reader and ask a question. "What's that you say?" State the obvious question and answer it. It can be done in 140 characters!
- Dear ____, I prefer to address inanimate objects. You know, like the darn printer at work.
- Take a picture and link to it. Cameraphones are awesome for this. Or link to someone else's pic or anything that inspires you that day. Focus on visual inspiration.
- Link to music, a book, or art that is inspiring you. Could be any medium. Could be new or old. Maybe you'll see some trends and can scrap a page about it?
- @ someone. Reply to someone else. Laugh at their joke, commiserate with them, or just say hi.
- RT something someone says. If you hear about something cool or funny, retweet it. Others may also enjoy. And it documents what you are finding interesting on that day. Worthy of noting.
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Family and friends joined us at Broken Rocks Cafe and Bakery in Wooster. It's a gorgeous restaurant with amazing food. Glen, the owner hooked us up with a great menu of sandwiches, soup, and salads. We just ate, chatted, and opened presents...
Theresa looks awesome. She has a sick schedule between teaching high school and taking classes for her master's degree right now. I would be asleep at the table if it was me!
I'm not even pregnant and I have been too tired to finish all the projects I had in mind for this baby. I did manage to pull together a few purchased things and some handmade. I made a blankie and a scrapbook for baby. There's also a wooden bunny teether in there from Little Alouette. So cute!
To top off the event... we had dessert. Strawberry shortcake and chocolate custard. YUM!
Wooster has such a great downtown. I think several of the ladies sneaked off to shop before or after the shower. There are a couple yarn stores, a scrapbook store, and a bead shop to name a few of the cool places.
I can just imagine the summer days we'll spend strolling around, sipping lattes and shopping... with my little niece in the stroller... oh, did I mention my prediction for the baby is girl? I'm pretty sure of it. Heee!
Monday, May 18, 2009
As luck would have it, we arrived at the drop-off location just as the truck was emptying the bins. To a 22-month old who loves trucks, this was a golden opportunity! And how convenient that Mama had a camera! We watched every bin get dumped. It was thrilling.
When we finished there, JT reminded me that Dada took him to see the planes at OSU Airport last time they were out. Not to be outdone by Dada, we went to the airport. We got to see a small plane land and one take off. THEN we saw a jet take off!
And then I forced a toddler into his car seat while crying and screaming "Mama, jet! Mama, jet!"
Saturday, May 16, 2009
This month is flying by almost as quickly as April did. I'm so glad I started the 12 of 12 project. I haven't scrapped much lately. So at least I have my 12 of 12 pages every month to document what's been going on in our lives.
Last week I was really sick, so that totally threw a wrench in the works. Kind of hard to do any of the extra fun, creative stuff when you can barely get through the essential and necessary things in life - like working, feeding the fam, and keeping up the house!
I'm taking a class called Everyone Can Write a Little that combines my Twitter love with scrapbooking. Can you imagine?! So hopefully that will help to kick start the scrappin' around here. I'll keep you posted. Or at least tweet about it. :)
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
JT woke us up not-too-early. He might have been cold. I turned the heat off the day before and I guess it got chilly overnight. It was 60 degrees in the house when we got up. Ooops. We had JT find a few eggs that were hidden around the house as soon as he got up. Then we noticed that the Easter bunny had left a basket with MORE goodies outside in the yard. (There are always bunnies in the backyard... they just don't usually leave such nice presents.)
Easter bunny left a pair of rainboots, a Charley Harper puzzle, Not a Box, a handmade bunny, and more candy. I hope that bunny got to see how much JT enjoyed everything in there.
We had to drag JT kicking and screaming away from the candy and off to church. He did look awfully cute in his green gingham shirt and vest throwing a tantrum on the floor. The church service was a tear-jerker and a half. There are some amazing voices at our church. I don't think there was a dry eye in the place.
When we got home, Nana and Pawpaw arrived. Nana made me a basket with lavender plants, "dinosaur eggs", and chocolate bunnies. Right up my alley, I tell ya. Oh, JT got a basket, too. It paled in comparison to getting to play with Nana and Pawpaw all day.
I made an Italian chicken salad I discovered on Simple Mom that was delightful. I'm not normally into ham, so you won't find me cooking one up for a holiday dinner. We spent the afternoon goofing off and playing at the park. Then we had Nana's carrot cake. I had requested it because it went with the day's "theme". (Bunnies, carrots, get it?) Sometimes I make these odd requests of her just to see how far she'll go for me. And from the resulting carrot cake? I can tell, this is one Nana who will go the distance!!
The bummer of the day was that JT developed pink eye that got worse as the day wore on. Here he is late in the afternoon listening to Pawpaw read Go, Dog, Go:
If that doesn't melt your heart, I don't know what will. Poor little thing. So off to urgent care we went. He was the only kid in the place and the staff went gaga over him in his cute little outfit. It made the whole adventure less painful that way.
When we got home, Becka stopped by with some pineapple upside-down cake... more yumminess! Then it was off to the bath and bedtime for little sickly.
Here is the photographic evidence of the whole day. It's the first 12 of 12 where I actually have decent photos. I would like to thank my lovely family and the sunshine in the sky for that!
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Sunday, April 26, 2009
This year I wanted to make JT's Easter bunny. Easter is a good time to make something crafty, right? It's just one bunny. I should be able to knock that out, yeah?
Well, I did it!
JT calls him "Easer Bunya".
He's a little wonky and a lot whimsical. Which is my way of saying, "look, it was an experimental first attempt at making a softie."
But never mind that. JT went running to his Easter basket and pulled Easer Bunya out first thing! He got a lot of love until JT realized there was also chocolate in the basket...
It fills my heart when he loves on Easer Bunya.... and then asks for candy.
Monday, March 30, 2009
Friday, March 20, 2009
I figured they were just passing through, so I yelled for JT to come quickly!
They ended up staying out there almost all day. They laid down and were comfortable as could be in our yard. Total craziness here in suburbia!
Thursday, March 19, 2009
Another month, another 12 pictures on the 12 of the month! Looking at these layouts together makes me think "wow these days sure pass quickly." It's like a blur. I guess that's why it's worth taking the pictures - so you can look back and remember.
If you draw conclusions from this layout you will think that our mornings last half the day, my toddler has his own blackberry, and I don't water my plants until they are pretty much dead. And you'd be right about the plants. :-)
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Happy St. Patrick's Day. We played outside all evening, except a short break to eat dinner. The weather was amazing. Looking forward to lots more days like this. Playing at the park gets to be old hat for us... but wow, are we lucky to have a park RIGHT HERE. JT loves it!
Friday, March 13, 2009
And now for the last of the challenge layouts from the all-weekend crop. Sunday's challenge page was to (1) use some of the paper we got as a gift at the crop, (2) embellish with a tag and eyelet or brad, and (3) cut a photo into a silhouette. The silhouette was my contribution... for which I'd like to send a shout out to my friend E who totally rocks the silhouettes!
I think I broke a lot of design rules on this page, but I was running low on sleep at this point. I think 2 photos is ok, but using 2 cupcakes was wrong. Feels like it should have been one or three. And the tag isn't worked into the page very well. But then I look at that drooly-faced, bald-headed, big-eyed baby and I don't care one bit about design. :)
Thursday, March 12, 2009
I am quite pleased with my stitched owl. Of course, I predicted that John would say, "What does an owl have to do with these pictures?" Men. Owls are hip and trendy. Roll with it.
Today is the 12th! I am taking pictures all day today for 12-of-12. Hopefully a layout (probably digital) will be heading your way soon.
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
At our all weekend Scrap Happy crop, we like to play games between the 3 of us. I mean, if you don't want to put yourself out there, you should just stay home to do your scrapbooking, right?! As the shirts say, "friends don't let friends crop alone."
Each day we each issued a challenge for one layout that day. That means one layout had to contain all three challenges for the day. Friday's challenges were (1) to use only paper from the scrap bin, (2) stamp an element for your page, and (3) hand-write your title... like old school scrappin' days!
Here is my take on the first challenge:
You should have seen the girls squirm when I stapled the sheep to the page... they may both need therapy after scrapping with me. Haha!
I've got 2 more challenges... but you'll have to wait another day to see more. Toodles...
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
JT turned 20 months old yesterday. Oi. He is such the little boy these days. At 20 months, JT...
- is talking up a storm: deer, apple, 'nana (banana), penya (penguin), TRUCK, car, buh (bus), boo (moo, for cow), barn, gong (gone), dardonne (dinosaur), tertut (triceratops). He also says octagon and ambulance... impressive, eh?
- runs everywhere, all the time. 'un! he says!
- loves to hide.
- is obsessed with books. He definitely has his favorites. Though we did recently adopt a Richard Scarry book about trucks and cars. A book with PAPER pages - a big step for him.
- has days where he eats constantly. Which means more growing... which means bigger clothes. I'm kinda looking forward to shorts weather in that respect!
- counts. "Un, two... pi (five)" I think he said "nine, ten" the other day. But I don't know where he got that high up... so maybe I misheard!
- knows that airplanes fly in the sky and the sky is blue.
- has conversations with his parents. One or two words from him... a few words from us... one or two more words from him... etc.
- likes to grab a toy to take upstairs when we go for a diaper change or bath.
- loves to splash in the tub. Really likes throwing the soap bottle from a distance for the biggest splash possible.
- rides his bike by scooting along with one foot or pushing the bike from behind. Not getting the pedals bit yet.
- watches Cars like a boy in a trance. He knows almost all the characters by name.
- points out all the cars, trucks, and buses on the road. Also points out flags and counts how many (see counting above).
- likes when I play pretend games where his toys eat his food or his dino-shaped chicken nuggets walk around. hehe.
- is now sporting big boy hair because Mama got tired of the rat's nest of long hair we were always dealing with.
Monday, March 09, 2009
I present, our holiday adventures. Weighing in at 5 by 7 inches, and about an inch and a half thick... sandwiched between delightfully see-through acrylic covers... tada!
Click the photo to see more of the album. I still need to add some journaling on the last pages, but wow, does it feel good to get a project out of my head and onto paper (and glue).
I love this little album. We had some great times and great pictures in December.
Sunday, February 15, 2009
Since we're a month and a half into 2009, I thought it would be a good time to post my resolution/one little word for the year. I didn't make any resolutions this year. I decided those could actually get in the way of my one little word, so it's just one word this year.
Why? I feel like every year I try to take on more and more... do more and more... achieve more and more. This year I just want to pause and be present. The next 5, 10, 20 years are going to go so quickly and bring so much change. So for this one year I want to be still and LISTEN to my heart, to God, to my friends and family, and the wind in the trees.
I constantly waffle between feeling like I've "arrived" in my career and that it's exactly where I'm supposed to be... and feeling like I'm avoiding some other calling because there's too much risk. I'm not even sure what this "other calling" is. In this year, I'm going to work hard and do more listening than talking at work and see where it takes me.
In the past couple months, JT has started talking more. I have spent so much time trying to figure out what he's trying to say. I want to take this year to make a habit of listening to him. As he grows up, his patterns of communication will change. I want to be present enough in my relationship with him that I am able to hear what he's saying, however he communicates it.
Saturday, February 14, 2009
JT is becoming more interested in playing with other kids. For now, it's really more like "near" other kids. So last weekend we subjected him to an entire weekend of play dates and social activities. May as well jump right in, eh?
On Saturday he had a play date with Reagan... his gal pal from WAY back. She used to help him out with binky patrol before he developed fine motor skills. hehe. As you can see, he had a great time.
Saturday night was a party where he got to play with Ally and Annabel. Again, more playing near other kids. Sunday morning he had a meltdown at the church nursery because they had the nerve to change the rooms around and disrupt his usual surroundings. He got through it and had an ok time playing with the other 12-24 month olds.
Sunday afternoon we went to Zane's birthday party. JT LOVED Zane's toys. He has cool trucks and ride-on things. He played near all the other little boys and had a great time. Sharing may be an issue... he had a LOT of possessiveness over the Cozy Coupe car.
So definitely... let me know if you want to schedule a play date for your kid to play near my kid. If you have a Cozy Coupe, even better. :-)
About this time every morning, we partake of the breakfast ritual. I'm greeted by this face. I love this face. It makes me laugh every time I look at it. I'm laughing now.
You're probably thinking... run.away.now. Or... only a mother could love this child.
What do you think? Would it be less freaky if he didn't have red hair?! lol.
Yes, this is going in the "pics to show girlfriends" file. Heeheeeeee!
Friday, February 13, 2009
Saturday, January 24, 2009
I took today to recharge. The pace has just been exhausting lately.
Last Monday I picked up the lens I've waited a few Christmases and birthdays to get. I took it out for an adventure today. Not great photos, but I wanted to get a feel for taking pictures with a new lens. I hadn't realized just how comfortable I'd gotten with my 24-70 until I changed to the 70-200.
And just to certify what kind of woman I am... I also stopped today and exchanged the backpack camera case I got for the bigger, more expensive one that will also carry a laptop. I will pinch pennies over a handbag, but price is no object where the camera is concerned. I can't say I'm surprised at myself... I also wonder who buys jewelry anymore, because I sure don't. Let me think, tech gadgets or diamonds? Gadgets!
It was nice to spend a couple hours alone with my camera and sipping coffee while reading a book for nothing but pleasure. I don't often get to do that these days. Heck, I can't even eat a meal without numerous interruptions. (Which reminds me... I need to make a reservation for Valentine's day, because I am eating sushi with my husband and not being interrupted except for drink refills.)
For dinner, JT and I had Thai food with our buddies Carol and Mike. It was good to have time to chit-chat and catch up with one another. Once again, the pace of life has been keeping us from doing this.
And after some time by myself today, the best part of my day was hanging with JT. He fills my heart to capacity with joy and love.