Tuesday, June 29, 2010


Who doesn't love a parade?



Monday, June 28, 2010

"Not Me" Monday!

Mckmama- Not Me Monday

This past week, it was certainly "Not Me" who let the kids go swimming, instead of getting in the shower. I know that just jumping in a pool isn't gonna clean their little heads and bodies, and I most certainly NEVER take shortcuts!

It was also not me who was running around like a chicken with her head cut off, cleaning her home, when he in-laws called to say they'd be stopping by for a surprise visit! No way could that be me, as we all know, MY house is always spotless, and ready for company! I NEVER get behind on things like laundry or dishes... Not Me!

When my husband woke up to find spices put away in the refrigerator, that was totally not me! I never, in a sleepy haze, put non perishables in the fridge....that would just be silly! Oh, and I most certainly did NOT answer my husband's question of, "Honey, why is the Adobo in the refrigerator?" with the answer of, "Because I'm an idiot, hun".... I never use sarcasm! Not me!

SO, how about you? Want to join in the fun? Hop on over to MckMama's blog, and see what everyone else didn't do this week!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

How better to celebrate 4th grade coming to an end?

Cold, refreshing drinks...

Delicious tropical cookies.....

Grass skirts as far as the eye can see.....

Why, it MUST be................................ A Literary Luau!

The girl-child got all dolled up in her Hawaiian best, and prepared to read her poem on killer whales.

Up she went, ready to read her creation in front of all her friends and their parents....

"Killer Whales"

Have you ever heard of killer whales? Well, I have! They are my most favorite animal. Would you like to hear about them? Well, here it goes!

Do you know killer whales aren't fish? They are mammals just like us. And this is how they are mammals. They give milk and have live young, and also have lungs.

A killer whale is also called an orca. They are big, black, and white. They are known to eat baby blue whales, fish squid, and sharks. Wow!

Orcas are very fast swimmers. They swim up to 30mph in bursts, in order to catch prey.

I did lots of research on whales and I would like to study them when I get older. I hope you liked my poem!

I was very proud of my not-so-little girl! She has worked so hard to overcome her shyness, and her struggles with reading and writing. Most adults I know shy away from subjects that are difficult for them..... they do the minimum requirements, and just survive it.

Not my R....... she will still tell you that writing is her favorite subject, even if it's a struggle!

She makes her Mommy proud!

L.E.N.S. Photo Challenge - Our Animal Friends!

I actually got some of my first animal photo's the other day! I had just left my daughter's "Literary Luau" from her school (photos to follow later today.....hehe), so my camera was primed and ready to go!

I had to stop at my Mom's house on my way home, and when I pulled in the driveway, this little guy was there to greet me!

Come check out Home is Where you Start from and see all the other LENS photo challenge entries!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Birthday Gift! - Macro Adapter Lens!

My wonderful husband got me a macro adapter lens for my birthday!

Well, it came in the mail yesterday! I've been having a blast playing with it!

I have no idea what I'm doing, and it's a really cheap Macro adapter, but I didn't want to spend a whole lot on one, to find out that after the initial excitement wears off, it sits in my camera bag!

But man, oh man, I don't see the fun wearing off anytime soon!

In my shooting macro shots of any one or thing that let me get close enough, I happened upon THIS amorous couple...... in the front lawn, no less!

Still working through the other 8,000 shots I took this afternoon....... I may be up for a little while tonight.. :)

Thursday, June 24, 2010


SOOC - Before


This was taken with my Panasonic Lumix FZ35, and edited with Lightroom 2

This is a little boy from my daughter's Girl Scout end of year party! (His big sister is a scout.)
The sun was brutal that day, and I was fighting a losing battle trying to keep my shutter speed high enough to not blur the action, yet let enough light in!

Come join the fun at Pixel Perfect!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

I Remember....

I remember clearly how scared I was. I was 16 weeks pregnant, and had been bleeding. Since I had most of my cervix removed when I was younger, and blood was a one-way ticket to the ultrasound room. It had actually become pretty routine.... I think this was my 4th or 5th ultrasound so far, this pregnancy.

I remember the ultrasound tech.... she seemed so nice. She was chatty, telling me everything was looking good..... baby's heartbeat was strong....... cervix was still holding....... and then, she stopped. Four words followed, "Wait.... I see something." That's the moment my world fell off it's axis. She asked me if I knew what a cleft lip was, and I said I had heard of it. Then she said it, "Well, your baby has one."

She left the room right after, presumably to get the doctor. There I was, alone with my thoughts. I was so, so scared. I was crying. I didn't understand. Why me? Why us? I did everything right! How could this be happening? How was I gonna tell Rick? I was a mess.....

Doctors, family members, everyone kept telling me, "Well, it's not so bad. The can fix clefts!" In a way, they were right. Clefts can be repaired, but in the weeks to come I was to learn that this journey I had unintentionally embarked upon was gonna be a marathon, not a sprint. See, the things is, the face and mouth involve so much.... breathing, eating, communication...... there are so many muscles that have to work in perfect harmony for everything to be "just so." It's so much more than just the cosmetic.... it's a journey that lasts, at least, until adulthood.

The following 20 weeks were so hard. I was still full of such fear..... such dread. I studied everything I could find on clefts. I read medical journals, spoke to other families, researched craniofacial teams......I half-jokingly refer to that time as my 20 week doctorate level independent study course on clefting. We decided to use the team at Strong Memorial Hospital, in Rochester. The team there is amazing, and they employ a fairly new technique in cleft care..... the NAM. Nasal Aveolar Molding device. A way to close the gap in her gumline, and align her nose prior to surgery. The NAM is a ton of work for the families going through it, but the results were worth it to us... we settled on driving the two hours to Rochester for her care.

What amazes me most about looking back like this, is just how terrified I was. I was so scared of what was to come. What if I couldn't feed her? How would I feel the first time I saw her? Was she going to have to go to the NICU? How would other people react? It's so incredible to me that I spent so much time and energy fearing what was to come, when the fact of the matter is, S is a miracle, and has bought me nothing but joy, love, and everything good in this world. Our journey has not been an easy one, but I've learned so much about life from this little girl. Her life has enriched mine in ways it's hard to describe. Honestly, I've learned more from her in her 21 months of life, than I EVER could hope to teach her in a lifetime!

.........to be continued.................

10 Things Tuesday.... Let's Give it a Go!

10 Things Tuesdays! Ten things made you happy this week? Blog about 'em! Ten things you want to do before the week's over? Blog 'em! Any ten things, any theme you wish, every Tuesday over at Magnolia Queen.

1. While Noggin may be educational for tots, I wonder how many parents made their way to the funny farm by over dosing on "Ya Gabba Gabba" and Laurie Berkner songs?

2. I really want to get the kids out in the sprinkler again...... the pool is fun, but I'm really having a blast with these sprinkler shots!

3. I think my least favorite question ever may be, "Mom, what are we having for dinner?"

4. Will S's swim diaper cause the PH of the pool to go out of whack all summer long? If so, I'm gonna have to go buy a lot more PH lower powder....

5. I REALLY can't wait for my birthday present to get here!

6. I think I'm more sad about my son graduating from Pre-K than he is! I wanna know where my baby boy went?

7. I need to have the teenager walk down and get a haircut, so I can take some birthday photos....he's looking shaggy.

8. SWEET! The blackberries that grow in the yard are ready to be picked! Well, some of them at least!

9. The Kindergartner turns 5 next months, and has told me he now wants a rip-stick like his big brother........ I could probably talk him into a skateboard instead, but I really don't like either! I'm really hoping he finds another favorite thing in the universe before the end of July! He is pretty good on his razor scooter, but geez..... he's only gonna be turning 5!

10. A nap sounds really good right now!

Now,... on to figure out this linkey thing!

Monday, June 21, 2010


This year, the Kindergartner was finally old enough to play tee-ball! He was so excited!
The season started out with 13 four year old kids who'd never played ball before....

He stepped up to the plate for the first time ever.....

.....but things didn't always go exactly how he'd planned it to.....

We learned a lot this season. For one, we learned that for sports purposes, M is a lefty like me! Once we got him on the correct side of the plate, his batting improved ten-fold!

He kept practicing..... working on his baseball skills throughout the weeks...

It was so neat to see the kids all forge friendships.... become a team. They were all so proud to be Dodgers!

They learned about hitting....

..about catching......

......and about running the bases.

They also learned some more important things...

....about friendship.....

..about being a good sport...

and about sharing!

Mostly though, it was amazing to me to see my little boy.....seeming like such a big boy....seeming so much older than his four years....

Now, the season's come to an end...... but at least he has this to remember it by!