Tuesday, December 28, 2010


Christmas Eve - we opened two gifts, a cute purple bathrobe and some purple pajamas.

We wrote our letter to Santa while we munched on a carrot that was suppose to be for the reindeer. The letter says: "Santa ---- I want a hippo and a baby --- Summer. We left the letter with the plate of cookies and the carrots that were left where Santa could find them.

Christmas Morning - We opened our gifts. We were very happy with them.

We looked really cute while we opened our gifts.

And didn't mind all the mess on the floor.

and there was a lot of wrapping paper on the floor.

We tried the scooter too, not worrying about how messy and cute our hair might be.

We loved everything about opening gifts.

Especially hippo pillow pet gifts.

We tried on some of the gifts, some were very slippery.

One of our gifts, the one from Santa, was waiting outside in the backyard. We spent a lot of time on that gift.

It was fun, I think we should do it again next year.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

My Little Panda Bear

Over this already extremely busy holiday season, Summer had 3 dancing performances. Her little group of girls tapped and sang to Panda Bear. Her first performance included two of her little friends. They were so cute, danced perfectly, and sang as loud as they could.

After the first performance - which was a small stage to help prepare them for the next big show that was coming up - I knew that Summer is a star. I don't think she even got butterflies nor was she nervous. She and her friends got the most applause too because they are so young and so cute. What can I say - I am addicted too, I can't wait to see her in more performances.

Her real performance included all the girls from her class, four total including Summer. Once again they had a terrific performance, singing and tapping at the right time. Of course they were the cutest act.

The final performance was for a smaller group of seniors, only one other girl showed up - just the two performed, but it didn't matter because it was still just as cute and as good as the other two performances.

Now that it is all over I am just a little bit sad, it was really exciting to watch Summer perform on stage with her friends. I guess I have time to prepare for the next performance this summer, June I think. I already can't wait!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Baking Cookies

Summer and I baked cookies yesterday - finally. Last year I baked about 15 different batches of cookies, so far this year I have made 2, and one was no bake chocolate. I am trying not to eat as bad as last year, but mostly I just haven't had time to bake. Now that Summer has given up naps I have a little bit more time.

Summer wanted mint cookies, I have mint chips so I modified the Nestle's normal recipe and added about 1/4 c mint chips. I reduced the chips from 2 cups to 1 cups and still used about 1 cup of nuts. They are good, some of the best cookies I have ever made, or we have ever made because Summer did everything with me.

When we scooped the last cookie on the baking sheet I told Summer she could lick the bowl, the mostly empty bowl. She took out the scooping spoon, picked up the big mixing bowl and was about to try to literally lick the insides. Hah, child, use your fingers.

She had one baked cookie and managed to get chocolate all over her hands and face. I don't know how in the world she did that, really, look at this messy face!

She enjoyed it, that is all that matters. I hope to find time to bake a few more batches, I need to give some to the mail lady, yard guys, trash guys, bottled water guy, bug guy ... all those guys.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Singing and Dancing

We have been busy singing and dancing, singing, singing, dancing, and singing. I have been busy editing video's for youtube, man that takes forever! I think I added about 10 in the last week or two.

Here are a few holiday singing videos at one of the nursing homes we visited.
Sometime last week, because it is all a blur now, we visited Santa Clause. Of course Summer was happy to see him, she went right up to him with her arms open wide.

We also went to a holiday party at our friends house, Santa showed up there too.

Summer told Santa she wanted a hippopotamus for Christmas. I am the lucky mom who has to find a stuffed hippo in the next few days.

Summer danced at her first recital yesterday. Here are two videos from there.
Before and after her performance, which happened to be at Opportunity Village, we took the opportunity to enjoy some of the rides. Here are a few pictures of Summer and her friend Ana, and us last night.

And that catches us up, shew, what a busy week!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Again Nothing

Here I am today without holiday photos. I really need to schedule time to take some. I have been busy taking photos of other people, poor Summer. Of course she isn't complaining. She might 20 years from now but somehow I doubt it.

I got a video of her yesterday spelling words - she is doing so well, so well in fact we haven't been having school lately. Mostly because I felt like she wasn't having fun and I was really busy - by busy I mean I was on the computer. I might try to start up again in January. I just remember loving playing school when I was young but I guess I was a bit older.

Here is the video, this is the way I taught her to read and spell, with the help of World Word. I bought those foam letters at Albertson's for $1 - I bought three of them, so worth it.

Last night Summer had an extra practice for her dance recital coming up in less than 2 weeks, actually her first performance is on Tuesday. I am amazed with only 2 practices she has the moves down to the song. Maybe she is meant to be a dancer. She is only 3 but her memory always amazes me. I hope it amazes me today when she and her friends sing holiday songs to seniors. We will see!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Happy Holidays!

I guess I have been so busy photographing other people that I haven't been taking many pictures of Summer. Plus, it gets dark around 5:00 and the best time to shoot outside is around 4:00, which is when Summer would be napping, would because she seems to be outgrowing naps. It is way too early, everything I read says to keep them napping as long as you can, but she just isn't tired, even with all the running and playing we do!

We are so busy over the next four weeks, insane busy I tell ya! Besides our normal dance classes (2 on Mondays) Summer has 4 extra to prepare for the upcoming recital. Not only does she have a recital, she also has 2 extra shows around that time. Not to mention the 2 holiday carol singing events I scheduled at the nursing homes, which are coming up this week. I hope she knows the songs, but I think she does, we have been listening to the same 8 songs over and over and over every single time we go somewhere in the car. Yet I still don't know all the words to Deck the Halls or Away in the Manger, hmmm.

We also have a holiday party this weekend, I am looking forward to that! That reminds me, I want to see if a friend wants to dress as Santa and come over ... anyway I have been so busy I just finished ordering my holiday cards yesterday. We took the pictures for the cards yesterday. I haven't finished Christmas shopping but there is still time for that. Summer is getting a trampoline from Santa, the UPS guy already delivered it, it is sitting in the garage in two huge boxes (free shipping thank goodness) and Daddy and Papa are doing their best to restrain themselves, they both want to go put it up. NO not until Christmas Eve! Men ...

Right now Summer is watching Tinkerbell, the third one I think - I am going to make her watch a movie during her regularly scheduled nap time in the hopes that she falls asleep, which is unlikely, or at least so I know she rested for a bit.

So - I leave you with a few pictures I took last week sometime when we baked our first batch of cookies. Many more to come, maybe, maybe not as many as last year.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Roller Skating

Cliff (aka Papa) decided he wanted to take Summer roller skating. Cliff (aka Papa) is in his 60's but when he was young, he was a roller skating disco king, or ... whatever you call it. He could skate frontwards, backwards, sideways, he could skate. He was certain he still remembered how and could take Summer out. Summer had never been skating but was looking forward to it after watching a few videos on youtube. I wanted to go because, well, I like to skate too. Kris (aka dad) wanted to come watch.

The closest skating rink (or is it ring?) is less than 5 minutes from our house. We packed into the car and headed over after dinner - a dinner of delicious ham and beans, salad, cornbread. Dinner that Summer did not eat because she said she was not hungry.

The cost to skate, with skates, was $8. This also included 2 pieces of pizza, a drink, and 4 game tokens. Really not a bad deal. The smallest size kids shoes is 10, Summer wears a size 9 but we are buying 10 so that was good! I wear a size 9, wait, who cares about my foot! Anyway - like I said, this was Summer's first time skating. How did she do?

She LOVED every minute of it. Cliff on the other hand (aka Papa) could not skate as well as he remembered, in fact he skated just a tad bit better than Summer did. For her first round Kris (aka dad) was able to walk her around the edge. I was glad they didn't make him get off because I didn't think I could hold her up on skates and there was no way Cliff was going to be able to hold her up on his skates!

But I got better and I was able to hold her up - mostly.

And remember our delicious meal of beans & ham, salad, cornbread, the meal Summer didn't eat? After a few rounds on the floor she decided she was hungry. Of course. Luckily we had the tickets for the free pizza so it worked out nicely. We all had a nice time, we spent about an hour and a half at the ring (rink?) and I have a feeling we go back again soon.

Next time we will eat the pizza and skip the dinner at home.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

More than you want to know

This blog is normally about Summer, and my photography - however I have tried to move a lot of that over to my photography blog, but today I thought we could talk more about me, because I realized there are some things that I want to talk about but the stories would take WAY too long, so here it goes, my attempt at a self interview.

How old are you? I am 34 years old, well 34 1/2 now. I don't think I look like I am 34 but of course I would think that. I have no problem being that old, or that young depending on how old you are. I have accomplished a lot of good things in my life so I am fine being 34.

Where are you from? I was born in Wichita Falls on an Airforce base but mostly grew up in Oklahoma. My family moved to Georgia when I was in the 4th grade and we stayed there for 2 years, then moved back to Oklahoma.

How long have you been married? I was married about three years the first time. It was a nice marriage but we were young and I just grew into someone else. This time I have been married 10 years this past July and we are doing great, I see us together another 30 or 40 years at least!

Are you a worrier? Yes and No, mostly No, I don't sit around and worry but when anything happens, like the other night when Summer had a stomach ache and my husband immediately thought "gas" I immediately thought horrible things, emergency room visits, life threatening conditions, etc. Why? I had a panic attack in 2001 and it took me a long time to overcome the fear of dying. I would say I am 75% better but I still have issues, especially when it comes to someone's health. I constantly think something might be wrong with me, I can't take a pill of any kind without thinking the side effects are happening. It is manageable and I think it gets better as time passes. It was gas.

Do you want more children? If you haven't noticed I love Summer an insane amount and I would love one, or two, more children. We have been trying to get pregnant for the past two years, and after extensive testing and nothing being wrong, it just hasn't happened. I don't know how far I am willing to go to continue trying, so far three rounds of Clomid has proven unsuccessful, so for now I am doing nothing but just waiting to see what will happen. I do have a fertility statue that a friend let me borrow next to my bed to try this month. Would I do anything more drastic? Probably but I don't think Kris wants that and I respect that, so in reality probably not. I am happy with my one and if I only end up with her well I haven't forgot to count my blessings.

What about adoption? My brother was adopted and I love him as much as my real brother so while I totally think it works, I just don't think it would work for me. Not to mention how difficult and expensive it is, I would be worried about the unknown medical issues, mental issues, and loving my daughter more than the other baby. Of course I had hoped someone in my family, extended family, would have a child they could give me, but so far that hasn't happened. That is how we got my brother, he was my cousin.

Are you religious? I was brought up in a house where religion was not ever really mentioned so I grew up able to make my own decisions. I love learning and love religious people. I love going to church (but only recently, I hated going as a teenager when sleep was more important). If I had time, I would love to study religions. I only recently admitted to myself that I was an Atheist. It isn't a bad thing like I originally thought, just how I think. Maybe one day I will find something to make me change my mind, I keep looking.

What about your daughter? Summer is being raised a Christian because my father in law lives with us and he is very religious. He has taught her about God and Jesus and how to pray. I think it is cute and have no issues with it. It is actually easier, if someone dies "they go to heaven" is easier to explain.

Is your hair naturally curly? So many people ask me that - yes, but who knew! Before Summer was born I had perms. Perms for over 15 years. Once Summer was born I decided to go natural, that way we would look the same. I had my hair cut above my shoulders right after she was born and it keeps growing back wavy/curly. I never brush my hair ever, that would end in a frizzy mess. It doesn't stop me from wanting to do something with my hair, maybe go blonder, a tighter curl, a cut ... typical girl I guess.

What else do you want to know? Just ask - more than likely I will answer! I will leave you with a picture of something that means a lot to me. I took it yesterday, enjoy!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Fun on the stairs

Really - it is the little things that make me happy, that inspire me, that desire to get out my camera can be nothing more than two cute little braids on top of a head. Pair that with a set of stairs and you have yourself a mini photo shoot. At least I think so!

I think people assume because I have so many cute photos of my daughter that she is a great little model, she loves to pose, loves to smile, loves to give me cute faces. Those people would be completely wrong. My daughter is a normal three year old and anything to do with sitting still for several clicks is enough to make her run. Of course she is more use to me and knows what makes me happy, and I take a thousand pictures just to get a few good ones (digital cameras rock). I am very persistent and I know what to use as bribes and let's be honest I lie over and over ("come on just three more photos") but I really don't think she minds that much, she doesn't know any different, don't all moms take this many photos of their kids - she must wonder. She sees me take pictures of other people too and they let me, or at least it appears they let me in the photos she sees, so for her this is pretty much normal. My poor child - a new outfit, cute leggings, hair bows, a fancy hat - all things that might require a photograph or two.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Shopping & Holidays

Today was a busy day, so busy I never had time to pick up the camera, even to take a picture of the very nice rainbow we had - it was thick and colorful but by the time we finished shopping 6+ hours later, I was wiped out! I guess that is not completely true, I did use my phone to take a picture of Summer this morning wearing a really cute hat she won in the Denny's hand grabbing thing that most people just give money too - so that was something! Of course by winning I mean she won it on the second .50 try, of course after she won my husband and father in law figured they could get lucky again, there goes another .50 x 3, so for a total of $2.50 she got a hat. Not really free but still, she felt like a winner and breakfast was good.

We went to the mall today and guess who is already there - Santa! I have no idea why he is in town so early but we were not really ready for him, I mean look above at how Summer was dressed, not really fitting to see Santa, we shopped around with the thought of buying a new dress but Summer had pink boots on and I would have had to buy new boots and that was getting a bit expensive so we determined it would be best to come back another day when it could be planned better. Somehow Summer was ok with this plan - luckily. She really wanted to see Santa and to hug him and tell him she wants her two front teeth and a hippopotamus for Christmas ... I need to work on her list with her too before we go.

As you can see we have been busy listening to Christmas music while in the car, today we were in the car a lot - hopefully a lot of words sunk in. I really want Summer to enjoy singing in front of old strangers. I will spend more time with her probably after we get through Thanksgiving week. I still have to buy oh EVERYTHING but I am planning on doing it tomorrow. In preparation I cleaned out my fridge, watched 3 online video's about making the turkey, copied down recipes, cleaned my kitchen - wait I didn't clean my kitchen in preparation for next week, I just cleaned it because it was dirty, but it did sound good huh. Anyway I am having a friendly get together for some mommies on Tuesday, that includes a pot luck lunch, for some reason I thought it would be a good idea to destroy my house right before I need to start cooking, and shopping, I need to get a ham too I guess on Wednesday. Never a dull moment, or a moment to rest apparently!

Besides all of that, I am booking myself photo shoots all month long, I am almost out of weekends! I have a few days available during the week, which doesn't seem to work well for most people unfortunately. I guess being busy is good, I shouldn't complain and really I am not - no really :o)

I will be sharing all kinds of things with you over the next few weeks, Summer has a ton of things happening, I plan on baking, shopping, parties, friends, you know the drill. Stay tuned.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Have you ever wondered ....

Have you ever wondered what exactly it is that I do with all of the photos I take of Summer, I mean sure most people take a lot of photos but do I scrapbook? I do actually, digitally! When I first started taking pictures of Summer I knew I wanted a record but what would be best for me? After seeing a digital Shutterfly photo book I knew that I had to have one of those, or two, or more! I would love to sit down and scrapbook with paper and pens but I know myself - I am too picky and a perfectionist and the books are a little large, especially for as many as I would need. How many do I need? Need or want? I ended making 4 books for each year for the first three years, plus two additional books for vacations (Disney Land and the first time at the beach) so a total of 14 books. Actually I redid the first book because I decided to add more pages, and I have sent 3-4 books as gifts so I think that brings my photo book making experience up to like 18-20. Every three months until the age of 3 Summer had a detailed photo book filled with pictures. I am not sure what I am going to do next, if I continue this tradition she is going to end up with a bookshelf filled with photo books! I might try making one book for every 6 months but then I end up not using so many pictures. The dilemma of being a photogenic child I guess.

Shutterfly is a really easy site, besides making photo books I have also made a few other gifts like mugs, cards, mouse pads, collage prints, holiday cards, shirts ... just to name a few. I like how easy it is to upload your photos, have all the photos and projects save, and order. If you have never made a photo book you should really check it out, for me it is much easier to do online that it would be to order materials and have to sit and create pages and ideas on my own since it can do it all for you (plus it looks really nice).

For Christmas I have already ordered several items from Shutterfly - I am getting my mom a ... wait my mom reads my blog! Well let's just say that several family members will be receiving gifts from me that I created on Shutterfly. Personalized gifts are just so much more fun, don't you agree?

In the meantime I have to figure out what I am going to do now that Summer turned 3, do I continue to make 3 months worth of photo books, do I wait and make a 6 month book, do I only make books for special occasions. I will figure it out eventually, my pictures are all here waiting for me to bring them to life, in the meantime here are some links to some of my favorite Shutterfly products:
If you end up making something let me know, I love seeing what other people create, it gives me ideas. If you have used Shutterfly before and want to get some free cards, Bloggers get 50 free holiday cards from Shutterfly http://bit.ly/sfly2010

I guess I am off to take more pictures, I always need those!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Little Things

It is the little things in life that make me happy, like this picture I came across on my flickr.

I love that picture almost as much as I love that little girl. Something else has me giggling ... hehe, lol, I am so excited! I called a friend who gave me names of her friends who I called, I got other names from those people, well needless to say it was a process trying to arrange a date and time when my daughter and friends could go sing Christmas songs at nursing homes! At a birthday party last night for one of Summer's friends who turned 5, awwww, we mentioned caroling in December and figured it would be easier to go to a nursing home so I called around. I have one "show" scheduled so far and 2 more to go. I have several songs to teach to Summer. Speaking of birthday parties, Summer got invited to a birthday party by one of her gym friends. Yup Summer has her own group of friends now, my child is so friendly and outgoing! 3 birthday parties already this month, one at the end of the month and now another next week, what does all that mean? A lot of yummy birthday cake!

Summer hasn't napped the last two days and I have come to realize two things, one - she really still needs her nap because come the evening she becomes annoying and moody, and two - it is a good way to get her to take pictures, which is not a good reason to skip naps but when she asked if she could get up after she spent an hour playing in her room, I told her she could skip her nap if she came outside and let me take pictures of her. She was actually in a decent photo taking mood too - see!

The green eyed monster right there, looks a little evil but look how cool and colorful her eye is!

Ok let me explain, her hair was a mess today because it was curly the day before and this is how it looked the next day, and the sad face below was because as she was posing she bounced forward and smacked her face into the camera lens. She was not hurt but she got yelled at a little for hitting the beloved camera.

She snapped out of it quickly of course and continued to give me all different kinds of looks.

Mostly she was happy, well she is always happy but getting her to smile without looking fake is always a challenge, this was a genuine smile!

Since she didn't nap she went to bed at 8:00, let's hope she wakes up in a good mood tomorrow and is eager to nap. Oh darn except we are suppose to go over our friends house for a play date at 1:00 so more than likely she will not nap. Well, maybe she will fall asleep in the car.