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

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.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Sponge Rollers

I love sponge rollers. Love. Summer doesn't seem to mind them either, she can sleep in them just fine. She doesn't mind much when I put them in after her bath. I love the way they transform my little mostly straight long haired girl into a curly bouncy short haired thing. I can't believe how different she looks with curls! Why won't my hair do that with sponge rollers - or will it?

Not to mention how cute pink boots are - and sweater dresses, ok fine, everything about her is cute and she knows because I tell her. How could I not, look at that face!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Halloween - Recap

I know, Halloween is 14 days past but I never posted about our parties, silly me! I took some cute pictures of my little witch and I wanted to share those too.

Friday Night, October 29th, was the party at Rachel's house. Or maybe you know her as Carissa's mom ... either way her party. Summer dressed as her scary witch and I used an old costume and morphed into Raggedy Ann.

I didn't take many pictures at the party but these two, here is a picture of all the kids being scared by a monster while playing unsuspectingly in Carissa's room. Playing or destroying - yet to be determined really. Out of the 5 kids, 2 of them were scared into tears, somehow, to my surprise, Summer was not one of those kids.

In fact Summer was willing to hug the scary monster once we told her he was nice and she realized he was only pretend.

Saturday night was the party at the Springston's house. We dressed up as a lumberjack family and headed out. We ate, we played games, we ate, we ran into yet another monster! He was a twister master but apparently Summer is more than a master because she won that game.

On Sunday, October 31st, we finally got around to carving our pumpkins. Sorta, Kris and I got around to it while Summer stood back and held her nose. She wouldn't even put her hand in the scooped pumpkin to let me get a picture!

We went trick or treating around our neighborhood, which proved to be a success, her bucket filled up quickly, so fast we decided to go home early and then Summer gave out candy - which she truly enjoyed.

Backing up just a bit, earlier on the 31st we decided to do the family thing, get haircuts, or at least trims. This was the first time Summer had her hair cut and it was such a small amount you really can't even tell, but no doubt it was needed, those ends have been there since the beginning.

She did fine with the trim, she sat there and paid attention for the entire 5 minutes it took the lady to trim her hair. I even got a little paper with her hair taped in it for her baby book, yes I am still updating that baby book!

So there, better late than never!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Apples & Eggplants & Bears - Oh My!

Another early start to our day resulted in a trip to the local orchard. I hate the word orchard, I can never say it correctly, but anyway, the orchard normally cost $3 to drive in, free to walk in. Since it was very chilly this morning we wanted to drive. They didn't charge us because they said the place was a mess - we didn't notice. We saw lots of vegetables still edible, and ended up picking out two nice size eggplants. I have a recipe from the mother in law that I will make in a few days, I need to find another.

We also wanted apples, green granny apples, and apple cider that they make fresh. I have never picked an apple off a tree until today and it was so much fun. The trees were full of apples ready to be picked. Summer found a nice smaller sized apple that she started munching. I tasted it and was surprised to find out how sweet it was, I figured it would be sour since it was so small, not at all.

Overall it was a great hour, we all got some fresh air, we got some fresh fruits and veggies and took a few pictures, what more can you ask for?

Friday, November 12, 2010

She can read?

I decided to start schooling Summer this past August when all the other kids went back to school, mostly because I had time and I thought she would enjoy it. At first I figured we would spend about 3-4 hours a morning on school, after we started and reality set in it was more like an hour at the most. In the beginning I planned out elaborate lesson plans and spent a lot of time on the computer researching and finding ideas. It was a lot of work!

Background: When Summer started actually watching TV she enjoyed watching Sesame Street. At some point Summer found Word World and every night before bed Summer watches World Word to help wind down and learn a little. My point is - it wasn't all me!

After a couple months of busy school and seeing what did and didn't work I took a new approach, I would not work on letters because Summer knew them all, somehow, uppercase and lowercase and all their sounds. She cannot write them very well and really has no interest in trying to write the little letters in the lines, so we stopped trying, instead we took the bucket of foam letters, dumped them on the carpet in the middle of the room - away from the kitchen table where we started originally, and created words. I would give Summer three letters, for example a C O W in random order and tell her to sound out and spell cow. Then I would put it aside and do another word. Most of the words were three letters words, besides her name. After we spelled about 12-15 words, that I had set aside, I had Summer try to read them back to me, so not only was she sounding them out and spelling the word, she was also sounding out the same words and reading them. I didn't think it was really working until this weekend.

Dr. Seuss, he is amazing, and thanks to some of his silly books I realized that Summer could figure out the words in the books. She would say little and if the word was small I would say no sound it out and she would figure it out. This went on all weekend and I figured she might actually be able to read more. At the bookstore today I bought a pack of first word flashcards. I got home tonight, opened the pack, and to my shocking surprise, Summer was able to sound out and read the words!

I am in shock. My child, at 3 years old, can read. I said she would be reading by 3 but I didn't figure it would be this early, she just turned 3 in July! She has work to do yet but she has the general idea, thanks to Sesame Street, World Word, and foam letters!

Being a mom is so rewarding!

Monday, November 8, 2010

All Better and Busy

Summer recovered quickly, as expected it was a 12 hour bug, by the next morning she was completely better! We decided to take the new camera to a place just outside the city and see if we could get a few Fall photos while enjoying the lovely day.

After we played outside we headed to the strip to do some looking and shopping. Las Vegas has so many cool (but expensive) shopping areas, we really like to walk around, look, shop, eat. We headed to the Canal Shoppes in the Venetian and some other fancy stores by the Wynn.

I would love to tell you where we were exactly here, this waterfall was really neat but I just can't remember where it was exactly - yah we walked that much.

This staircase is located in Barneys New York, Kris wanted to smell some of the fancy smancy colognes they have.

I don't know what this soap store was called but we ended up buying some bath balls/bomb things, you put it in the water and it smells up your bath and turns the water a different color. We bought three of the balls, Summer and I enjoyed a very orange bath last night.

Pictures walking between casinos to stores.

This lady, princess, queen, whatever we told Summer she was, magically showed up after Summer watched her perform with some jesters and after Summer had made a wish with one of the 10 pennies I gave her into the waterfall wishing that she would show up and hug her. She didn't get to hug her but the fact that she showed up was really exciting. She sang opera earlier during our walks through the stores.

Besides shopping, walking, eating, we also had some Italian ice cream, twice actually, once when we first arrived and again before we left - see I told you we were there a long time! It was good too, so creamy!

I guess I like living here, Las Vegas has its cons but it has pros too - like today we are only in the 60s but the sun is shining and at least it looks warm out!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Throwing Up

This morning at exactly 7:42, well I think, somewhere just before 8:00 AM, I heard Summer wake up, get out of bed, open the gate, come down the stairs and into our room and announce WAIT - before I tell you what she said let me tell you how she normally wakes up, normal is closer to 7:00 where she yells from her bed "MOM IS IT TIME TO WAKE UP?" to which I say Yes as I stumble out of bed and meet her at the bottom of the stairs, so as she was walking into our room I thought to myself, wow this is nice, she can come crawl back in bed with us, until she announced that she had thrown up in her bed and it was all over her hair and arm and she was sick. I decided it wouldn't be a good idea for her to crawl into our bed and I had better get up and clean her up. Luckily she was in high spirits and thought it pretty cool to have gotten sick, to be sick actually, because her friend was just sick and now she was sick like her friend. I guess - kids.

She had thrown up sometime earlier in the night because chunks of dinner were stuck in her hair. I had her get in the shower and washed her hair twice, conditioned it once, to no avail, pieces were still there but I figure they were clean by that point right?

She felt pretty good most of the morning, threw up again in the toilet before she made it out of the bathroom, threw up again in a bucket while watching cartoons, and again all over her bed, again on the couch while napping to Alice in Wonderland, which is good because I really don't think that movie is a kid movie, I put it on because she wanted to watch it knowing she was going to fall asleep.

Anyway here it is 1:31 and she has been asleep for about 30 minutes, and therefore hasn't puked in the last half hour. I hope she is starting to get over it, she wakes up hungry and eats then throws it all back up. She has been drinking a lot of water but not like it stays down. At least she doesn't have a fever, at least her friend had it so I know what to expect!

Until she is better we are staying home and (not spending money) and hanging around the house. Laying on the floor ... or on the couch with a throw up bucket under her arm and her butt in the air.

Whatever works. I figure I will probably get it soon and so I am eating a ton of Halloween candy in preparation. Hah, likely excuse!