Monday, January 31, 2011

This Kitty

Nuala's new thing is this kitty.

"This kitty wants you to pet her. This kitty doesn't know how to talk. This kitty is tired. This kitty wants you to scratch her back. This kitty likes to climb. This kitty wants to wear glasses...." and so on and so forth. No "mom, I'm a kitty please pet me". Nope, just "this kitty".

There are all sort of things I want to remember about this kitty. Like how fiercely independent she is. She wants to do everything by herself all the time, and she's super capable. She can problem solve before I even realize that there's a problem. At the New Year's pow wow Oscar was dismayed that he couldn't reach the bubbler by himself and I was fumbling to balance him in one arm so that I could turn the water on, meanwhile Nuala had already dashed off to get a cup from the coffee table. She brought it back and filled it on her own.

This kitty does not want help in the bathroom. At all. Ever. She used to get out of bed at night and change her own diapers (fairly well too). She gets mad when she's hurt or sad. Gets her own band aids, puts on her own mittens, tries to unbuckle her own car seat straps and every night, without fail, throws her pajamas over the railing of the top bunk because she just can't stand to wear them. We've actually given up on this one. This kitty climbed into Saoirse's crib last week, only after hoisting a real cat (poor Brenna) in first. They were having a kitty crib convention. She still wants to cuddle for at least 10 minutes out of each day. That's pretty good for an independent kitty.

Once again, it all seems to come back to the butterfly.

After a busy weekend we closed Sunday's curtain with a late afternoon trip to the museum, just Brendan, me and the three wee ones. Nuala was entranced as usual. She scurried around the exhibit trying to convince any butterfly she could find to come and play with her. Kitties love butterflies (and dirty fingernails too).

We poured syrup over pancakes and blew milk bubbles.

We went to Winterfest at our neighborhood park, it was so great to see our community out in full force. This neighborhood is a really special place to be a part of.

Micah is already asking me if he can sign up for hockey.

And guess which kitty takes her iPod everywhere? Everywhere.

For the most part though, our weekend looked a lot like this...

This kitty loves her "green blankie".

I've been working on the Hannah Newsboy Hat by Pepperberry Knits. My first attempt was made with Berrocco Ultra Alpaca Light.

Sadly, it is WAY too small for my big head. I mean, it's barely slouchy on my toddler. Needless to say I didn't even bother making the bill for it.

Little Fievel was happy to wear it for a quick shoot though.

I love the design so much that I decided to give it another shot. I upped my needle size, changed to a worsted weight yarn and did some simple math to adjust the stitch count. I'm not thrilled to have paid for a pattern that needed such major modifications, but what can ya do? I'm determined to have a Hannah by this weekend!

*As I'm getting ready to hit 'publish post' I hear Nuala behind me saying, "Oscar, this kitty is not going to read your book!". *

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Nuala's Masterpiece

Morning art was going just great. I cranked up some music and we got to work making colorful drawings on sketch pad paper. We even brought out a fresh box of crayons.

Nuala made a beautiful picture of "my dada driving in the car going to the park".

I thought it was genius and wanted to show it to him right away, which meant uploading and emailing. I only stepped out of the "studio" for a few seconds, I swear, but it was just enough time for Nuala to finish her next masterpiece....

And don't even get me started about poor Woody!

Guess it's going to be that kind of day.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

S'Klobber'N Time

We brought Navajo Stew, a bunch of kids and a ton of team spirit to watch the NFC Championship game yesterday.

There was even some face paint involved.

And some of the coolest shades you will see in the dead of winter during football season.

Say hello to Ethan, the newest fan to join our party, he must be a good luck charm or something.

Yes, it was a great afternoon of family, food and football.

Much of it was spent looking something like this.

Until that last beautiful moment at the end when it became crystal clear that we were on our way to the Superbowl and of course the room exploded!

Look out Steelers, here we come.

And in other non-football related news, the van is broken, Brendan's out of town on business (although only for today so it doesn't really count), Nuala is sicky sick and my knee is killing me from Saturdays six miles.

But......we're going to the Superbowl people, THE SUPERBOWL, so who cares about all the other stuff right now anyways?

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Flashy Once Again

Hello flash, I know that we've never really been the best of friends, but perhaps we're turning a corner?

I don't care for flash in my photos. I personally feel like the flash on my camera is just way too harsh and it completely changes each and every photograph in a pretty drastic way, so I just usually give up on even taking flash photos. The problem with that sort of attitude is that you wind up really limited in when and where you can use your camera because you are totally dependant upon the lighting conditions. That's fine and all when you're shooting, oh say a bridge or a landscape or a skyline, but when you're photographing children you can't always wait for the right light. Children live in the moment, in the "here and now" if I may, and some of the most beautiful shots are going to happen whether the light agrees or not.

Last night my darling mister presented me with a solution to my flash problem, he gifted me a lightscoop and after a 20 minute test drive it already has me making nice with Mr. flashy pants.

Anyone know what Nuala's holding in her hand here?

And while I am head over heels in love with this nifty piece of equipment, I will note that there is at least one drawback, especially for shooting spontaneous moments, and it's that you can only take one shot at a time. I'm really big on continuous shooting mode, it makes taking pictures of people much easier. But since the flash needs time to reset between frames, you will have to wait a bit before you can snap again.

Now, don't get me wrong here, I still prefer natural light. I still think that some of these photos would have been better without the flash. But....

But, I just can't believe that these were all taken with a flash (ok, except for the one of the cat). I didn't have a lot of time to tinker around with it on account of all our typical Saturday morning hustle and bustle, but I can't wait to take some more.

I did a team relay marathon today, indoors of course, and it was a lot of fun. The kids came along and went ice skating while I ran my 6.6 miles for the team. Maija was so sweet and skated along side of me for the last mile or so (the track was on the outside of the rink) while Sidhe and Micah cheered me on from the outside of the track. What awesome cheerleaders they are!

It made me painfully aware of just how much work I need to get done between here and the Golden Gate, it's really time to start getting serious about that little old July marathon I signed up for.

For now I'll just be happy that I made it the full 24 laps today. One day at a time, right?

After writing this post and uploading the photos, I sat Ruari down in the sun room to take a few shots now that the sun has set, and I am sort of speechless all over again.

So there you have it ladies and gentlemen, if you suffer from flash panic like I do (or should I say, did?) then you should really take a closer look at what the lightscoop can do for you.