Project 365: Days 43-49

43/365 Partytime, Excellent. Someone couldn’t bear to take her hat off, even though we were leaving the birthday party.

44/365 Bicycle Bling. Olivia was given this BEAUTIFUL bike bell for her birthday from our dear friend Traci. We finally put it on the  bike. She absolutely LOVES ringing it to let people know she is “coming through!” For those of you interested, the bike bell comes from Abbey Hill Creations.

45/365 *Love* It’s simple.

46/365 Play-Doh. We spent the afternoon making cakes and steaks with play-doh.

47/365 Nubby Socks. Spending the cold, windy, rainy day in nubby, (awesome robot) socks, watching movies.

48/365 Operation. Finally busted out the Operation game grandpa gave them for Christmas. They had fun even if they “aren’t very good yet.” (according to Olivia).

49/365 Raindrops. It’s a rainy, windy, cold kind of day. I ventured out, despite being a sicky, and tried to take some rainy day pictures. This was as good as I could get.

Totally Random

I have finally totally succumbed to whatever has been floating around and causing my children (and husband) to be sick. I’m on the edge of being REALLY sick, so I keep thinking “I can do something.” but deep down I know if I tried, I would wind up worse than I am right now, so I am currently sitting in bed with a STILL coughing Sophia, watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. I’m lucky, today is Bill’s off Friday so he was able to take Olivia to preschool. I decided to at least be bloggy productive and give you some bits of random that are floating in my head.

  • Olivia had Pajama day today. She couldn’t stop laughing at the idea of going to school in her pajamas. She kept telling me “Okay, so on Friday, all we do is wake up, and go to school. I don’t need to pick out my clothes the night before, because I’m just going to wear my pajamas! Isn’t that FUNNY mama?”
  • I’m contemplating re-doing my week 7 of P90X since the only FULL day I did was Tuesday (I had company come earlier than expected on Monday, so I only got half of the workout done). While this will push my “final day” to the week after my 30th birthday, the reality is I am probably going to need another 90 days to get close to where I want to be. I still don’t know.
  • My new blog is not going to be unveiled on the 19th unless a miracle happens between now and midnight. I’m hoping for a beginning of March start date. I’m a horrible procrastinator who got hit with really sick kids and didn’t have time to work on it fully. Plus I really want to wait until the super adorable title artwork my BFF since high school is working on. She’s really talented and I WILL NOT RUSH her awesomeness. Plus, it’s my fault for waiting so long to ask if any of my arty friends wanted to work on it in exchange for baked goods or future photography work. I’m all about the bartering. I described what I wanted, and I saw a work-up and really love it. It’s quirky and cute, exactly what I am looking for.
  • I decided I was watching way too much “serious” TV (specifically Grey’s Anatomy) in a row (I can watch nonstop! It’s instant on Netflix!) and it was triggering some stuff and causing me to be a little moody. So, I’m going to back off this weekend and watch happy tv. It sounds very silly to some people, I’m sure. I have always watched movies or TV and had a hard time stepping away from it mentally. It always resonates with me for days, which is why I can’t watch certain types of movies anymore. I live it, see it, and obsess over it and the what ifs. I have been described as extremely empathetic by my therapists. It’s a blessing and a curse. Sure, it’s great to have empathy for people, but I used to cry for days over commercials and make-up scenarios in my head of how I would live my life if I were in the situation I had seen in a movie. I am extremely involved in people’s problems and issues because I feel them and want to help so they no longer hurt. I’m working on it.
  • Sophia melted me last night at dinner. She started singing “I love you mommy, I love you mommy, mommy love, mommy love, I love her so muchhhhhh, I love her to the MOOOOOON and BACCCKKKK!” Seriously kid? I want 100 of you when you act like that.
  • Sophia gave Olivia a hug and I said “aww, that’s so sweet.” so she said “hey mama, watch this, this is EVEN BETTER!” And grabbed Olivia, hugged and kissed her. Seriously. It’s hard to remember the bad days when they do this stuff.
  • I took a lot of pictures of the Camellias the other day, and didn’t use a nary one for my P365, since it was “Sophia’s Day” (the 16th) I used a picture of her feet. So, I thought I would share them with you now. They made me feel better.

Wordless Wednesday: “I can’t believe it! I did it! I rode a bike! I never thought I’d be able to do that!”

I want to see your Wordless Wednesdays too! Link up over at BabyBabyLemon!!

Hair apparent

I’ve talked about Olivia’s gorgeous hair before, and how much trouble it has been for me to cut it.

It still hasn’t been cut.

Ever.

But, the time, it is drawing near. Every day is a struggle to brush, fix and have it look like someone cares about her and not give the impression she is a street urchin. It’s a fine line, people. Still, she does not want to get it cut.

Andrea, over at Silence and Noise, wrote a post recently about donating her hair. It got me thinking.

I talked to a friend of mine, who told me instead of some other organizations that are known for hair donation, I should look into Pantene Beautiful Lengths as the requirements are a little more relaxed, and we would only need to cut 8 inches of hair, instead of the 10-12 inches other places ask for.

I’m still mulling it over. I want Olivia to want to do this, not for me to say “okay, we’re going to get your hair cut, and I’m donating it.” I mean. It’s her hair. She grew it.

This involves explaining to her what we want to do and why we are doing it. I’m still finding the right words. It’s such a delicate issue with someone so small, and I don’t want to scare her or make her sad about something that is such an awesome thing to do.

I told her, “Sometimes, when people get sick, very sick, not just a cold or stomachache, they have to take medicine that makes them lose their hair. If we give them the hair you no longer need, they can have a pretty nice wig of hair until their new hair grows back.”

She looked at me and said “But, I like my hair, I don’t want to give it away, because then I won’t have it anymore.”

I explained how much I hated it when she cried if I accidentally pulled her hair, and it has gotten so long, I am sure there are hidden curls underneath the weight of her hair, and if we cut some off, maybe we could see more curly hair. I then explained how her hair would grow back, no matter how much we cut it, just like her fingernails and toenails.

She looked at me quizzically and said “That’s silly. If I cut my hair it won’t come back.”

“This is true” I said “You will grow new hair.”

“Hmmm…that’s an idea, mama…but I’m not sure.”

So we’re still mulling it over.

I think a decision has to be made before too long.

But whatever we decide, there is one curl, one particular chunk of curl that is a bit longer than the rest.

That one is mine.

Hey! It’s progress! I had originally told Bill I was taking a gallon sized freezer bag and saving all of it.

I mean, look at it, wouldn’t you?

Sorry for the quality of the last picture, it’s a tiny portion of a bigger one, so it’s slightly blurrier than I like.

If anyone has any suggestions on how to encourage my girl to donate her hair, or ways to educate her on this process, please, let me know!

Love

I’ve written before what Bill means to me and how much I love him.

This whole blog is devoted to how much I love being a mama to my wonderful girls.

I have so much love in my heart for those three, every day, not just today.

I use the word “Love” a lot. Usually I will type it when someone posts a cute picture or says something I agree with.

*LOVE*

It’s simple.

Sophia and Olivia use the word. They wrap their little arms around my neck, squeeze and say “I love YOU, mama.”

It’s sweet.

Sometimes, they will proclaim an undying love for something: “I LOVE sweet potatoes mama!” to assure that they always get them.

It’s practical.

Once, one of the girls asked: “Mama, what does “love” (or lub) mean?

It’s complicated.

I tried to explain the best I could, in a way that a small child could understand.

I told them “Love is when you feel like you want to be with someone every day, all the time. Even when they do things you may not like, you still want to be around them. It’s when your heart feels so happy every time that person laughs or smiles and you would do anything in the world to make sure they were happy.

It’s simple.

P90X Update: Week 6

Day 36 (Monday): I felt really good about today’s workout, I even did a few clunky Dreya Rolls. Yay me!

Day 37 (Tuesday): Cardio was pretty good today, I was slightly pukey feeling, but it may have been because I had a parent committee meeting and did my workout a bit later than usual.

Day 38 (Wednesday): Today I did Ab Ripper X in its entirety before my Shoulders, Chest & Triceps workout. I attempted every exercise and got at least half of the reps completed, except for the last workout, where I just sat and stared at the screen in utter disbelief. I had been planning on doing the main bulk of the workout after I picked Olivia up from school, because I thought I might not have enough time. However, after my Ab Ripper exercise I felt energized and figured I may as well get it over with. It felt pretty great. Since I was so crunched on time, I didn’t pause when Sophia needed a clean pull-up, so I did sit out maybe two exercises.

Day 39 (Thursday): I’ve bitched about the length of the Yoga workout before, but I have been trying to block it out of my mind and remember how great I feel when I get past the 45 minute mark. There were a few exercises I had to go and break up fights and make sure the girls were not doing things they shouldn’t be doing, but overall, I got 95% of the poses and only fell out of a couple. I still didn’t do Crane.

Day 40 (Friday): Once again, I did the Ab Ripper X before the Legs & Back workout. I actually did attempt every exercise this time. Not full reps, but about half. I was feeling kind of half into it, but I went on and started Legs & Back anyway. About 30 minutes or so into the workout, I started feeling very dizzy and sick, but not in a “I haven’t eaten or my stomach is too full” kind of way, just odd. I decided to listen to my body and turned the workout off. I felt a little disappointed in myself, but at the same time, I wasn’t feeling 100% and I think I made the right decision.

Day 41 (Saturday): I am really loving my Kenpo X days. I feel strong and powerful and it is a lot of fun for me. I am getting pretty good at doing the kick sequences and I am getting better at kicking front, side and back without putting the foot down in between. I am also feeling much more confident with my punching and footwork involved.

Day 42 (Sunday): I’m resting, but planning on spending the afternoon playing with the girls, so maybe that will be a small workout.

Here are a few things I feel will help make my workout better after Week 6:

  • I MUST write my food consumption down. I have been so slack for the past two weeks. I must make a better effort.
  • I’m going to try to cut back on Diet Coke. I really like drinking water with frozen fruit in it, so I’m hoping that will be a good change.

Notes for Week 6:

  • I lost 1.6 pounds! This brings my total weight loss at: 3.6 pounds. Bringing my average at about a half a pound a week. Which, while not ideal, is pretty damn good. I’m proud of myself! I’m currently right around the weight I was before Christmas.
  • I had Bill take my measurements again today, and in 3 weeks I have lost an additional 10.25 inches! This brings my total inches lost (in six weeks) to: 15.25 inches. This is AMAZING sounding and my clothes definitely fit better. In case you are curious, we measure the following: arms, thighs, waist, stomach, chest, hips and shoulders. This is a bit more than what we are “told” to measure on the program, but I wanted to track the areas I am most self-conscious about.
  • I’ve decided that, while I will be monitoring and reporting inches and pounds lost, I will not give you my actual measurements. Ever. This is a very personal thing for me, and I may or may not share pictures, but the numbers are the enemy and I want to FEEL better and not focus on the final numbers or deal with people comparing and contrasting. That’s not healthy and I refuse to allow anyone to use me as their comparison.
  • I have my moments. I will have my moments, but this feels GOOD. Not because I lost weight this week, or that I lost inches (though, that does NOT hurt) but because I FEEL better. I am more flexible than I think I may have ever been and I have so much more energy. I used to nap any chance I got, but that happens very infrequently now. MAYBE once a week.

Thank you again for your support and kind words. They have really helped me and I appreciate every single one!

Project 365: The Outtakes (Days 36-42)

Day 36: I had to make myself find something to photograph, as I had two sick, snotty children who were not amused at my photography attempts. I liked the conversation hearts picture though, I thought it turned out okay.

Day 37: Superbowl Sunday. I stayed at home and took care of sick kids, so we lounged. The “Message” was one I took in the morning, and felt my picture of the day was complete, so I didn’t bother bringing the camera out. Plus, the girls were snotty. No one wants to see that.

Day 38: Still not completely well, so we stayed inside and the girls colored and worked on puzzles. I liked the one I chose because of the pinkie. But the pictures of the girls coloring together were sweet.
Day 39: We had a picnic outside and I found patches of clover growing on our fence. I became fascinated with it and snapped away. I kept only two pictures b/c I didn’t really like the composition of the others. I loved the one I used, but I liked the “Old West” action I used on this one.
Day 40: I took my recovering sick, snot noses to Yogurtland for a treat. I took a lot of pictures of this, and I got some weird looks from other people, but we had a blast.

Day 41: I had non-cooperative room cleaners so not much got done that day, other than a few errands that HAD to be done. So I caught Sophia trying to cover Olivia with her shirt and found it hilarious. I also took a picture of their feet, but figured I would give you all a break from feet this week. Except in the outtakes.
Day 42: We don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day. We get the girls little gifts, but our feeling is we don’t want to be told that ONE DAY is when you show someone you love them. We try to do this all year. Plus, the idea of gifts whenever the mood strikes us is nicer than waiting for one day. That’s what Birthdays, Christmas & Mother’s/Father’s Day are for. Imagine my surprise when the doorbell rang, and waiting for me on the front step were beautiful daisies. My favorite flower. I took a lot of pictures of them, couldn’t decide, so I asked Olivia to do it for me. These are the others.
I also converted some into B&W and loved how they turned out as well.

We want to see your outtakes too! Go over to Amy’s Outtakes post & link up! Or you can leave your outtake link in the comments and I’ll add them below!

Homework

This week, Olivia’s preschool teachers told us they were going to send a slightly larger than shoe-box sized plastic tub home with a couple of kids a week. In the little tubs, the children were to put a toy into it, write three clues and bring it in so everyone in the class can try to guess what it is. A “guess the item” show and tell.

This is something new and the teachers are hoping it will stop the children from bringing toys to school. Since the various emails, letters and verbal requests haven’t done any good for some of the kids who are apparently stealth toy ninjas, because no parent would knowingly allow their children to bring toys to school when they’ve been asked not to, amirite?

Olivia was one of the first two children chosen for this, so on Wednesday, we dutifully took a purple tub home with a pillowcase inside (to further hide the item). Her first homework assignment!

We discussed it on the way home from preschool.

“What do you think you want to bring in for show and tell?”

“Um, I want to bring my tag reader!”

“Well, that involves two things; the tag reader and a book, to show everyone how it works. You’re only supposed to bring one thing, so we don’t want to do that.”

Maybe I was being inflexible, but they did say ONE item…rule breaking is for eating cake for breakfast, not basic instructions for a homework assignment. (Yes, I was one of THOSE kids).This would come back to bite me in the ass when Olivia came up with her next idea.

“Ooh, how about my R2D2? I can bring the little one, since the big one has two parts (it is a remote controlled R2D2; and yes, I know you are jealous).

“Well, I think it would be okay to bring the big one (because even though it was two parts, it seemed like THAT would be okay. And no, I can’t explain my logic, so don’t ask me to).

“No mama, you said I couldn’t bring a toy with two parts, so I’ll bring the little one!”

Damn. Caught in my own illogical rationale by my 4 year old.

“But, the little one could get lost! It’s very little!”

“Yeah, that’s true. But I still think I want to bring it.”

“Why don’t we think about it for a little while and then decide.”

“Mama, that sounds like a good idea. But remember, it has to be small enough to fit inside the little bag on top of the box.”

“Yes, I’m aware.”

“Because it can’t just fit in the box, it has to fit in the bag on top of the box and then also the box.”

“Yes, Olivia, I know. You just said that.”

“I know I just said that, I just wanted to make sure you know.”

“Okay. Thank you.”

Fast forward to Thursday afternoon. I have been fighting with both girls all damn day to clean their room. When they finally started to clean, I remembered we had yet to do her homework.

“Kiddo, what toy should you choose to take to school?” I scanned her room and my eyes fell on her Gabba Boombox

“Perfect!” I thought. Not too big, not too small, and something fun to share.

“Hey, Olivia, what about bringing your boombox?”

“Yes! It’s perfect!” she squealed and handed it to me. “We just need to make sure it fits in the bag AND the box. I’m not sure it will.”

It fit.

Then we had to go about creating three “clues” to help her classmates guess the item.

“Olivia, if you were to describe this item to someone who had never seen it before, or didn’t know what it was, what would you tell them?”

“Um…it makes noise.”

“Good! That’s a good clue! What else?”

“Well…it needs batteries.”

“Yes, this is true. But, when you say something makes noise, it usually needs batteries, so let’s try something different. Where do you see the boombox?”

“In my room!”

“If someone couldn’t go to your room, where would they see it?”

“In the living room.”

“No, I mean, if they were at THEIR house, how could they see it?”

“I don’t know.”

“Is it on TV?”

“YES! You can see it on TV! On Yo Gabba Gabba!”

“Okay, let’s write that down. But what else can you say that describes this?”

“It’s gray.”

“Yes, this is true, but lots of things are gray. We need something more helpful as a clue. Who carries this boombox?”

“I do!”

“Who else?”

“Sophia does!”

“Yes…but, on TV, who carries it around?”

“DJ LANCE!”

After a half hour of going back and forth in this fashion, we ended up with the following three clues:

  1. It makes noise and plays music.
  2. You can see it on a TV show.
  3. DJ Lance Rock has one too!

I’m sure I was leading, but I really tried to help her reach the clues without coming out and telling her. I know that this was a softball lobbed in my direction and there will be days when I want to pull my hair out because of her homework, but yesterday it was fun. I saw her little gears turning while she tried to figure it out.

My baby! Doing homework! It may have only been choosing and describing a toy, but for me, it was amazing and extremely bittersweet.

Camera Gear

I am often asked, “What kind of camera equipment do you have?” So I thought it might be fun to put a polyvore collection together to show you my camera gear.

I think this will be when the velvet rope comes down, the curtain falls, and all of those other horrible cliches are put into play and you see I really don’t have an unattainable, or incredibly impressive “bag of tricks”. My camera gear has been collected since I started getting serious about my hobby roughly three and a half years ago.

I won’t lie, photography is an expensive hobby. Them’s the breaks. The more you get into it, the more expensive it gets. Yeah, I know, I said that a great photographer can take great pictures with a point and shoot. I stand by that! BUT most of the time, the automatic controls of a point and shoot can only make you happy for so long; if you’re like me, you will eventually want to play around with your focus and exposure. It’s all about control people (for me, anyway). And then, the lenses! Oh the lenses. I could make an entire wishlist filled completely with lenses I drool over on a daily basis. So, I decided to do just that. The first group of gear is what I currently have. The second? My dream gear. ::drool::

My Camera Gear

Canon Digital Rebel Xti
Sigma 18-250mm f/3.5-6.3 DC OS HSM IF Lens
Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II Camera Lens
Canon Speedlite 270EX Flash for Canon Digital SLR Cameras
Canon Wireless Remote Control RC1 for Canon XT/XTi, XSi, and T1i Digital SLR Cameras
Tamrac 3350 Aero 50 SLR Shoulder Camera Bag, Black, with Belt Loop & Carry Handle
Patriot Signature 8 GB 266x CompactFlash Memory Card (x2)
Kingston Elite Pro 4 GB 133x CompactFlash Memory Card
Sunpak Platinum Plus Tripod with 3-Way Fluid Head

I have this AWESOME camera strap, which I purchased at the etsy shop: HowardAvenue and I love it. It’s durable, long enough to wear my camera across my chest if necessary and just plain cute.
You will also find, among the litter and chapstick tubes, a lens brush and an orange lens cloth.

Now, the good stuff: My Dream Camera gear:

My Dream Camera Gear

What? A girl can dream, can’t she?
As always, I get nothing if you should buy anything from links provided.

Wordless Wednesday: “That girl is all about the ass…”

I want to see your Wordless Wednesdays too! Link up over at BabyBabyLemon!!

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