Saturday, October 31, 2009

1st halloween

Happy First Halloween to Abigail. :)

I have tons of pictures of course - many many more than I can post here. All in all, we've had a pretty good day.

Any day that Abby lets me sleep in is a good day. I woke up at 7:30am and she wasn't up yet. Of course, she woke up minutes later, but it was nice to wake up on my own clock. No alarm, no baby monitor. So, we got up together and played for a while before making breakfast.

We decided to make a good halloween breakfast for daddy. We made pancakes - but since Kyle only likes pancakes with stuff in them, we made chocolate chip pancakes with some chocolate sprinkles thrown in for good measure. Then we topped them with icing. Some caramel coffee made the combo perfecto. Abby had a plain pancake and loved it. ...ok, ok, I *might* have let her have a little of a chocolate pancake. It's Halloween, sue me.


After breakfast was ready, Abby got her costume on. Cutest three-eyed monster on the block. We decided that it was the best way to wake up daddy today. We had a good laugh with all the "eye" jokes in the house this week. Y'know, "one for daddy, one for me, one for...oh...umm, yeah, 2 more for me" ;-)


We all had a good time playing for a while and eventually Abby went down for her nap and I got some cleaning done around the house. I discovered that a mall down the street was having a trick-or-treat type thing for kids and we decided that it might be fun to take Abs. So, when she woke up, we loaded our little monster in the car and we headed to the mall.

Now, obviously, Abby isn't going to be eating any candy this year - but it was fun to see all the other kids dressed up and she collected a lot of stickers and such.

Here she is trying to decide which stickers she wants

And another of us - she only looked up for a second, she was otherwise completely mesmorized by the candy colors.

It started getting close to another nap time, so a few more errands and we all headed home. My camera was dying anyway. We snapped a few more monster pictures before heading inside to put her down again. She was much more concerned with her feet not touching the leaves - this was the only shot I could get of her looking up . kids.

More housework got done as well as some procrastination while Abby slept. She had a good nap and woke up still a little groggy. Unfortunately, we had limited daylight left and I still had to get pictures of her second costume!

So, I wisked her away and into her cow costume and outside. She really wasn't in the mood for a photo shoot. She spent most of her time picking up and dropping the pumpkins and destroying leaves (she really likes to tear them into a million pieces - Kyle does the same thing with mail, maybe its genetic?)

Not in the mood, can you tell? :o) Regardless, I really love this picture

She perked up a bit when I gave her the pumpkins to play with.


I decided to move to the back yard.
Here's Abby tasting a leaf that she's torn into tiny pieces

blech!

So we move again, to the front porch. She eventually perked up quite a bit out here - although she did this trance thing whenever a car would drive by or somebody would walk by the house. She's such an observer.

Here she is feeling a little happier. She's also been crawling a lot today. Maybe it's the costumes? I dunno - but I'm glad she didn't try to drag herself on the wood.


After pictures, we came in and it was time for dinner. Kyle and I cleaned some more and decided to spluge and order wings for dinner (mmm) Abby was in a really good mood after dinner - she was all over the place and super happy. We all had a lot of fun playing together. Abby loves for us to "chase" her. It's hilarious - she knows she's going to get caught. She knows she can't outrun us. But it doesn't keep her from trying - the whole time terrified that we're going to catch her. Oh, it's so much fun.

Here's a little video of that.
(you'll have to excuse Abby's "outfit" her snaps broke on her onsie, and we didn't feel like changing her right before PJs)
video

We let Abby stay up a little later than usual in an attempt to make the time change more manageable (yeah, right). Our food was over an hour late, but it got here. This is my first Halloween with no costume since...forever? I thought I would be more sad - but I had such a fun time being Abby's mom today, that I didn't even think about costumes and parties. I got to be the mom passing out candy from her front door - and I've actually enjoyed seeing all the kids in costumes come by.

So, I guess I'm growing up - but it's a good thing.

Happy Halloween!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

You Capture- Autumn

It's time for the weekly You Capture post! This week's theme was "Autumn" and I have so, so, SO many pictures from this week. I posted a lot of them earlier this week - but here are a few for today. I usually try to keep my capture-pics to around 3 every week - but I liked all of these.

I love fall - It's only sad that its so brief.





There are a lot of great pictures to check out on Beth's page. So, go check them out! And if you have a camera - you should join next week's challenge. :-)

PS: To all my fellow You-Capture peeps. I would like to eventually upgrade from my little point and shoot to a real camera one day. What do you use? Any advice? Suggestions? There are so many options!


Wednesday, October 28, 2009

the gym

I don't know anybody who doesn't have money issues. Everybody does.

Everybody is saving, and penny pinching, and coupon clipping, and making ends meet the best they can and know how. I suppose there are people who are oblivious to those concepts and just live their life in a whirl wind of carefree consumerism...but I don't think any of them have friended me on facebook yet.

Yesterday I decided to cancel my gym membership. I just happen to go to one of the most expensive gyms around, but it's also the only one within a reasonable distance to where we live (unless I want to join one of the umpteen billion private lesson only gyms - in which case I would be paying the same per lesson as I currently pay per month- ridiculous). Don't get me wrong - I love, love, love my gym. It's great. It's wonderful. Kyle knows that it's important to me, and he's never asked me to cancel it - even though we'd be saving a weeks worth of grocery money by doing so. Even though I took a 2.5 month hiatus from going at all. Even though I drag my feet when I make myself go. He knows how much I want it - despite all outward appearances.

So, I just figured I'd put on my big girl pants and take one for the team.

I found my favorite sales rep and we went to her office where I explained that I couldn't afford this anymore, and that since I was already on their cheapest membership plan, I was just going to have to cancel. And then something unexpected happened - I actually started to cry. Ugh. How embarrassing. The sales lady is a very sweet girl and she teared up too, came and gave me a hug and told me we were going to find a way to make things work. She's the lady I ran to when I realized that I just did 25 situps one day - when a few weeks earlier I couldn't even do one (pregnancy is not so good for the ab muscles). She celebrated with me as if I'd just finished a marathon. She asks me periodically what my latest accomplishment has been and in generally just good at her job.

Anyway. Fast forward a little bit and she's offered to cut my dues in half if Kyle can get a letter from BC saying he's no longer employed. I said that I'll take that and give her another hug and leave.

Hopefully that will work out, and hopefully we can continue to find ways to cut back and make ends meet, even if by the thinnest of threads.

The thing that surprised me by the whole ordeal was realizing how much the gym membership meant to me. I'm within 6 lbs of my prepreg weight now, and I don't know if I can shed that by Abby's birthday or not - but with being so close, I guess giving up that membership felt like giving up on that goal.

I've tried to think about other ways to exercise - but, realistically, it's getting cold and even walks will soon be out of the picture. Living above our neighbors in this old house makes at home aerobics or much stepping/jumping a social faux pas. Wii fit could work - but am I seriously going to hula hoop and sword fight my way into smaller jeans? Doubtful.

Anyway. Point is- I'm going to try to value my membership to the gym while I've got it. Hopefully I can make the most of it.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Sunday, October 25, 2009

walk with me

Today was gorgeous. It was the perfect fall day. It put me in a good mood as soon as I was awake and lasted all day. Clear blue sky (so, so, blue) all the trees seem to be at their peak color, the sun was bright and clear, and the temperature was 62. Not cold, but not warm. Perfect.

So after church we did our weekly whole foods visit and grabbed some lunch. We let Abby get a nap at home (she didn't have a morning one on account of church and she was Very Tired. When she woke up, she and I put on our shoes and headed out to the park. There was no way I was going to miss taking a walk today. Of course, I took my camera too.

This is the point in my blog where I apologize for all the tree pictures. I took 175 pictures on our walk. I was constantly trying to capture the feeling of the day in the pictures. I wanted to post them here so that everyone could feel how perfect this day was. Turns out, that's pretty hard to do. Even the most beautiful and amazing tree doesn't come out the way I want it to on "film" But I tried.

So, come walk with me.

This is our street - a few houses down. I love this picture. I love the trees over the road and the flower garden and the leaves taking over the sidewalk. Its probably my favorite picture that I shot today. If you could see the sun or blue sky - I think it would have done pretty well for capturing the essence of the afternoon.

further down our street. Yellow was the color of the day. It won't be long before these leaves turn brown and the trees are bare, so we have to enjoy the color while its here! I also loved the rake left by the tree.

Another tree (get used to it). With the sun behind this one - I thought it looked so...fall, and warm.

This is just a house a the end of the street. I love the old victorians. I especially love the roof - it reminds me of Mary Poppins. :)
(sorry about the tree blocking the view, I didn't want to look like a stalker by getting much closer)

As we made it out of the neighborhood and into town, I found this tree and I loved the gradient colors.

Ok. I saw these trees driving home from church and they were the reason I decided to go on a picture walk. Can you believe that red?

Next stop - the playground! I'm not sure why we got balloons today.

how cute are these pants? :)

pure. happiness.

We had a great time at the park. I got to talk to several other parents and Abby enjoyed playing with a few other kiddos. But, pretty soon it was time to head home.

Here's part of the path we took out of the park.

Here's another shot of town. Big sky.

The town does this thing where they have kids (grades 3-7 I think) paint the windows of businesses all over town. The orange paper on top has the name of the kid and the grade. This one was one of my favorites.

We took a different route home. More yellow. I wish I could have captured the way things look while the leaves are falling and swirling - but try as I did, I couldn't quite get it to work out.

Like I said - I've got tons more pictures. I'm saving some of them for other posts. I had a great time taking Abby out though. I felt so...momish. And it was great!

Thanks for joining us. ;o)

saturday o fun

So a few weeks ago I was sitting around feeling sorry for myself - and for Abby - because we don't really have any other mom friends in Boston. Meaning, Abby never gets to play with other kids. She's at home all day with us, and unless we're running errands, she really only sees me and Kyle.

So, I decided to do something about it. I went online and joined a few websites for moms and found some other moms that lived close to me and had kids around Abby's age. Then, I e'mailed them. Much to my surprise, they e'mailed back.

So yesterday, three of us got together for lunch with our little ones....there was one more mom, but her little boy got sick at the last minute. So it was just the three of us. One little girl just turned one and the other little boy was 2.5 months old.

I had such a nice time. It was really nice to meet up with a small group of women and just talk and get to know each other. And the food was really yummy too. We went to this place called Not Your Average Joes. It was super kid friendly - there were kids and toddlers wandering around the whole time. It's like as soon as you're in that environment, you're instantly connected to all the other parents there - we all understand. So, when some 2 year old walks up to another table and tries to grab something - nobody really minds. Apologies weren't necessary. When we left, we had several other parents wave and say bye. Point being - it was a good environment for parents with little ones. And it was, again, really nice - refreshing even - to have a girls lunch.

And Abby did so well the whole time. I love that I can order off the kids menu for her now. You could tell she loved seeing all the people and playing with the other kids. Oh - I kid you not - after about 30 seconds of watching the other little girl (the one year old) crawl around - Abby took like 5 steps crawling when I put her down. For the first time. Is that all she needed?A pint-sized example? Now - she hasn't done it at home, but it was funny because I had just finished telling the other mom how Abby doesn't seem to want to crawl. Kids.

So, after lunch Abby and I headed to Target to, y'know, grab a few essentials. ;-)

Essentials like dish soap, formula, a bunch of new clothes for Abby and all new decor for our second bathroom and more.

The best part - was that Abby was SO good the whole time we were in there - over two hours. Over two hours you ask?? Yes - have you been to a Target? I could spend a full day in there and still have things to do. Anyway. Abby was just a little ball of social the whole time we were there and I can't tell you how many people commented on her. We had a blast.

So, a great lunch followed by some great shopping = a great day.

Abby took a late nap when we got home and slept for nearly 2 hours, so after eating a big dinner, we let her stay up a little later than usual. I think the combo of the late nap and being up later than she's used to turned her completely silly. She was hilarious. She was just rolling around the house, playing with her new clothes by waving them like pom-poms and playing peek-a-boo. We had a good time. It's fun that she's at an age where we can really play with her and she plays back, y'know?

Eventually, it was time for her to go to bed (which she did with no protest) and Kyle and I settled in for a movie.

all in all - a great day.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

abby pics

I feel like its been a while since I've posted some plain 'ol Abby pics of us doing our thing.

The first thing you may notice, is that all the pictures are blurry and out of focus. The kid is always moving. Sorry 'bout that - but its a little out of my hands. :)

In general, Kyle and I have tried to limit the number of "flashy" toys that Abby has. For the most part, she only has her jumper and her toy remote control that are battery operated. But, because it came highly recommended from many friends and because it looked pretty cool - we decided to get her a leap frog table. I searched for a long time and finally grabbed one off craigslist for about a third of the price of a new one. Yay for discounts!


In general, Abby just seems bigger to me. She is getting stronger everyday...which makes sense considering she basically spends every waking moment doing pull ups, squats, or crunches.

This was as close to sitting and posing as I could get for a picture.

a brief pause. I think she looks big in this picture. You can see that she's trying really hard to grow some hair. Poor kid. She has enough now to always be messy and to get bed head at night - but not enough to really brush or put up.

Here is a short video of Abby at her table. Let me explain what's going on. Abby likes to dance to the alphabet song. But, every time she gets the alphabet song started, she accidentally presses another key and her song gets interrupted. So, you'll see her start to dance and then look annoyed as she keeps having to start it again. :) My camera died during the video, thus the abrupt ending.
video


one more pic I snapped this afternoon. This one - I actually like. :)

You Capture- Technology

This week the You-Capture challenge was technology. I admit, I procrastinated (hey, its what I do best) and I snapped the shots just before running out the door to work this morning (for which I was already late).

Abby's new and most awesome toy - minutes of entertainment at a time!

up close and personal

What did we do before tivo?? We watched shows live? With commercials? Posh - I remember no such thing.

my camera cord

And for your blast from the past - I was pretty proud when I surprised Kyle with this the day these puppies came out.

Get your techno on over at Beths and check out the other photos from this week!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

acceptance

I wasn't sure if this was something I should blog about or not. But, I decided it was.

My mom is bi-polar. She is also a Pisces. She is also brunette. She is creative, loving, and funny. She is an avid tea-lover and artist. She is diabetic and wears size 5 shoes. She respects nature and studies how to speak Cherokee. She is Methodist and imaginative. She is a reader and a researcher. She's 5' 2" And she makes the best vegetable soup you've ever dreamed of having.

It is unfortunate, however, that sometimes people can't get past the first part. Is there anything more stigmatized in our society than mental illness? I don't think so. It is a topic that most people know just enough about to misunderstand. And they end up perpetuating the stereotypes instead of understanding them. This isn't going to change any time soon, I'm sure.

What people with mental illness need is acceptance. And understanding. They need people to see them and not the disorder. I was thinking about all this last night and the thought floated into my head "I wish I could take the manic depression away" But, then I decided that this was wrong. It is part of who my mom is. It makes her, her. And I love her, the way she is.

I wish a lot of things. I wish I could keep her healthy. I wish I could take away all her worry. I wish I could take away her hardships. I wish I could give her an easy life. But, I don't wish that she weren't bi-polar. No more than I wish she were 6' ft tall and blonde. It's who she is.

Mom is sick right now. She'll get better, but timelines are fuzzy. She doesn't need pity - but she does need love. She needs acceptance and support. My family needs prayers to help them deal with the stress and emotions involved -which is why I'm blogging. I have a wonderful community of family and friends here who have been so supportive. Your positive thoughts are always a welcomed thing.

So, as your PSA for the day - if you know somebody who struggles with any aspect of mental illness. Consider acceptance.

Monday, October 19, 2009

my brother

My little brother turned 25 yesterday. So, Happy Birthday little brother! ...Little, heh.

My brother and I are 1 year, 11 months, and 1 day apart. So, we spent a lot of time together growing up. Legend has it that I didn't much care for the kid when he first showed up on my scene. I refused to call him Michael and only called him "that baby" for a little longer than my mother would have liked.

But, it didn't take too long for me to figure out that he was pretty good at playing pretend. And when my older sister wouldn't let me play with her and her teenage friends, I could usually get Michael to keep me company.

I was trying to remember my first memory of Michael - and its hard because I don't really have any memories of him not being there. Over our childhood, we spent time being best friends, mortal enemies, treasure hunters, co-conspirators, ghost catchers, animal adopters, and most of the time oscillating between playing and fighting - both equally as hard. :)

one of my favorite memories is this. My dad was gone to conference for a day or so and my mom was home with us, but was sick. So, Michael and I were playing on our own. I was about 8 and he was 6ish. We decided we were hungry, so I asked mom if I could walk up to the corner store. I'm pretty sure I remember her saying ok - but I'm not entirely sure she was awake. So, Michael and I set out to walk to the local Circle K (remember those?) I had a few coins in my pocket, and I was going to treat Michael to some candy. It was summer, so we didn't bother with shoes.

We get to the store, and I'm showing Michael the things we can get for a quarter. Mostly jawbreakers or bubble gum. Michael turns and sees the rotating hot dog carousel on the counter and asks, "Laura, can I have one of those?" I walk up to him and say "Michael, we can't afford one of those, we don't have enough money"

Well, at this point, we've caught the attention of the cashier lady, who asks "kids, where are your parents?" I look up and tell her (in my southern accent) "Well, daddy left and took the car and mama's home sick"

...remember, we're barefoot.

She looks at us and says "you can have all the hotdogs you want"

And so Michael and I sat on the curb eating hot dogs and watching the cars go by.

partners in crime.

So - I just want to give a shout out to my little, not so little, brother. He's an amazing dude and has a heart of gold. Anybody who knows him will attest to that. I miss him a lot - but always look forward to silly antics when we get together.

Here are some pictures of the little dude over the years.

Happy Birthday Michael, love you!
















Thursday, October 15, 2009

You Capture - Still Life

Where did the time go? Seriously.

I actually fell asleep every night this week planning what still life shots I wanted to try to capture for this week's challenge (dork alert). And did any of that happen? Nooooo. I mean, I took over 500 pictures this week of Abby (I wish I were kidding) but those don't qualify as still life.

So, I'm breaking the rules this week and pulling from the archive of photos past.
(if I plead guilty, does that lower my sentence?)

I Will take some more pics this week. Tomorrow. For now - here are some other shots. I thought I'd try to stick with a theme, even if I am cheating.



Head over to I Should Be Folding Laundry to see what non-cheaters captured this week.

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