Monday, February 28, 2011

Tutus and Trains

If your daughter insisted upon wearing a giant tulle tutu to the Domes, and the thing was so poofy and ridiculous that you could barely buckle her carseat straps around it and for a few seconds you actually wondered if it would block the aisles and walkways for the other visitors but you just didn't have the heart to tell her "no".....

Well, if your daughter did that, wouldn't you want to take a hundred pictures too?

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Tamron Time

Ok, it's been nearly 2 years now since we bought our camera, a Canon Rebel xsi. One year since I bought a 50mm lens and started learning how to shoot manually.

It's a process, there's a give and take, a natural flow of sorts. Sometimes I am overly eager to learn as much as I can. I wind up taking hundreds of shots with a camera that's readily available at any given moment, just an arm's reach away. Other times I go for days without picking it up, never finding the light or having the patience, feeling overwhelmed by how much there still is to learn.

Growth is like that. You need to have a little patience with the down time so that you can absorb what you have learned before moving on to the next lesson. My next lesson has begun, and it involves a new lens.

I've been mulling over a new lens for quite some time and finally decided to go with a Tamron 28-75mm. It was not an easy decision to make, but after asking pretty much anyone who would listen, reading way too many reviews and nearly driving my husband insane with the never ending back and forth of my indecision, I finally realized that it wasn't quite the major show stopping deal that I'd blown it up to be (as usual) and so I placed my order. It's only been a day so I can't really broadcast too much of my opinion yet, but the official first impression is that we're going to get along just fine.

Donuts and chores made for an uneventful Saturday morning. Who wouldn't want to clean their room with a smile on if they knew that jimmied frosting was waiting for them in the kitchen?

Some weekends we're running around falling all over each other as we try to keep up with the schedule and not fall behind. Always juggling, always balancing, always looking over one shoulder to make sure that time won't pass us by, always running to stay one step ahead.

Other weekends we trade in the running shoes for slippers and decide to call a temporary truce with time. Slippers and Mary Janes and no clock in sight.

Saoirse had classic bedhead this morning. I don't think that I've ever seen her hair so crabby about getting out of bed.

What's great about your average one year old temper tantrum is that a bowl of Cheerios will clear most of that attitude right up. It might not do anything for the hair, but when you're having a slipper weekend it doesn't really matter much, does it?

I've sort of grown rather attached to the hearts hanging in the living room. When was Valentine's Day again? I really am going to take them down, I tell myself this every day, yet here we are 2 weeks later....

And just because I have a new lens and just because my husband is a fantastic cook and just because it's pretty, I leave you with homemade fried rice. Tastes even better than it looks. Let's have a great start to the week shall we? I hope your hair isn't as crabby as Saoirse's when it's time to get out of bed tomorrow morning!

Thank you to everyone who helped me figure out which lens to go with, I appreciate all of your insight and support and general kindheartedness. Makes for many warm fuzzies while I'm busy 'bonding' with our newest addition. I know it may not seem like much, but having opportunities to grow with my hobbies and to nurture that part of myself means the world to me.

Friday, February 25, 2011


Last Friday I took 7 children to witness a little piece of Wisconsin history. I wanted them to see it, to hear it, to feel it so that they can take it with them into the future as they grow up to be the young adults who will inherit the responsibility of this democracy.

I won't get too caught up in the details, but it was just incredible to share this with them and it was really amazing to be able to share it with the thousands of others who were there.

Moving on.....

What is it with baby toes? Even the semi-gnarly, in need of a clipping, more like toddler than baby baby toes? I just want to eat them up every time I see them, which is pretty often so you'd think I'd have lost my taste for them by now.

Nope, I'll order them with every meal thank you very much.

Lots of down time this week, but we got creative and made the most of it.

Although Nuala must have caught wind of my 'camera shy teenager' comment, because she suddenly decided that she was not having any of it when I took off the lens cap.

Maybe it's just because she was hard at work. Either way, she finally obliged me as long as I promised not to interfere with her process. So there we were, just the two of us at the dining room table, perfectly content to be working side by side. One baby artist with her furrowed brow and paint brush gently dabbing and one mama artist with her camera softly shuttering in the middle of an ordinary afternoon.

She was very careful and deliberate, taking time with each color and stroke. I love that about her. Nuala always goes to art at school, they have an art room and the kids can take turns going to art class each day. Oscar will often tell me on the ride home from school, "Mom....I skipped art today". Which for some reason I find absolutely hilarious, I mean he's only 3, a little young to be skipping class already. Plus it's art, it's ART, who wants to skip that? Well, besides Oscar?

Give him some massive puddles and some rain boots though and he's all over it.

I'm pretty sure his pants were soaked right up to his armpits after wading through this one.

As for these two? They've been building a snow masterpiece over at my mom's house practically every afternoon this week. I can't give away anymore details, but look for it soon.

And just because I've had these sitting around on the computer for a while now and I wanted to let you in on a part of our routine, I thought I'd share a coffe break with you. I must be one of the lucky ones because I get to have a coffee date with my husband every single week.

It is part of the weekend that I have come to absolutely love. We nourish this family with everything we've got, openly and whole-heartedly, but for one hour every Sunday we relax with each other, just the two of us. Well, there might also be coffee and pastry involved.

And for a brief moment it is as if someone has hit the pause button and we're floating, yes muffins can do that to you~they can float ya, in a cozy little pocket calm, just the two of us. Ha! I remember when we used to have a social life, and now an hour at the coffee shop, where you're never even guaranteed a table on account of there are always about 87 other people there (cozy pocket?), is suddenly our romantic getaway? My how times have changed....

But that's ok, because there is always this to come home to.

Life will always be changing. These days it seems to be changing faster than ever.

Suddenly there are teenagers in this house. Talking on the phone, dishing out middle school drama, facing real challenges with friends and getting ready for their last leg of childhood. Did you know that while at coffee the other day, Brendan and I were discussing the potential impact of having 3 teenage drivers in the house in the next 3 years? Yes, yes, even at coffee we're still talking about the kids, but did you hear what I said about having THREE teenage drivers soon?!? Yikes!

Until then let's just try to stay calm and enjoy the moment shall we? Tonight was light a fire and eat delicious left overs for dinner night.

Followed by a Just Dance party on the Wii, after which three kids needed ice packs because of dance injuries. I'm always frowning about how some of the games are too violent (and they ARE!) but watch out for the dance games because they can be just as dangerous. Wink wink.

I hope your weekend holds plenty of promise for laughter and adventure, as for me, I'm off to nibble some toes....