Friday, February 26, 2010

Photo Friday

Oliver and his friend Annabelle, at the mall.

Running away from his floral offering.

One second before this he was on his knee giving her a flower. I'm not kidding. Stupid slow (old) camera missed it!!! Of course, then he took it away.

 Now he's giving her the flower. Awwwwww!

Going for a ride.

In the ice cream truck

Acting jealous in the play area. He was trying to protect her from the other cute boy who was making eyes at her.

 Giving him the cold shoulder. That's ok, he'll just flash those eyelashes at her next time she looks his way.

Monday, February 22, 2010

I've redecorated

You like? I think having my new camera has ignited my creative spark and I decided it was time for something new. Let me know what you think. I like using the free backgrounds/banners because I can change them out as the mood strikes.

I really wanted to find a template that would allow me to put larger photos on my blog, but it just wasn't working out right. But you can just click on the photo to see it larger, and all those special people out there with access to our Shutterfly page can find printable images that way.

We had a gorgeous weekend, and spent Sunday morning at the park. It was a little cooler/windier than we expected, so my plans for a fun photo shoot with Oliver in a cute sweater was slightly altered. Now he's in his boring jacket (cute sweater underneath!) and ruddy cheeks. We got some good shots, including some that really need photo editing, but I'm still teaching myself all those tricks. I have so much to learn! I shot most of these in Automatic, because it just takes me too long to figure out Manual with a running toddler. Marty shot all  in Manual though, he's so daring!

Saturday night, reading a book on Dad's lap. I love his feet! 

He loved playing in this area with a little snow amid the grasses blowing in the wind.

I love the light on this one! I have 2 like this, but unfortunately, he's not looking up in either of them. Toddlers!

Walking with purpose, as usual!

Look at those cheeks! Just don't look at the snot!!

My favorite of the day...taken by Dad with the zoom lens.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Blog Under Construction

Bear with me as I attempt to make some changes!!

Friday, February 19, 2010

A Very Special Photo Friday

I have a new love. No, I'm not cheating on my husband. In fact, I think he is as much in love as I am. What is our new love? It's this beautiful thing:


Isn't he handsome? Are cameras male or female? Hmmmm, that's something to think on. Maybe we'll even name him/her. Nick? Ike? I can't think of any appropriate female names, so he must be male. Specifically, the object of my affection is a Nikon D5000, which Marty completely surprised me with for Valentine's Day. Isn't he a good husband?! 

We've been talking about getting a fancy camera for a while, especially after seeing of the photos some of my friends and family have made with DSLR (digital single lens reflex) cameras. Yes, I know it takes a good eye to take great pictures, but it also takes a good camera. I take so many photos of Oliver, but I can only do so much with my little point and shoot. Combine that with my love for art and fine art photography, architecture, and the landscape, I knew it would make a fun hobby. Anyway, it was one of those dreams where I figured "someday," that vague moment in the distant future, we'd get a nice camera. I didn't think it would be so soon! Marty knew I needed some kind of creative output, I'd been talking about taking a class of some sort, so he knew this would be perfect. He was right. Have I mentioned that he's a good husband?

It's not just a gift for me though. It is definitely a family gift. I think Marty's just as into it. Of course, researching which camera to get was half the fun for him. He emailed people we know who are photographers, made spreadsheets, researched online, all that stuff. And he's been messing around with the camera more than I have. Since he has that engineer brain, he's already better at figuring it out than I am!! I took a photo class in high school, where I learned all the technical stuff (in the pre-digital days), but that was a long long time ago, and I need brushing up on my f-stops and my shutter speeds! For Marty, it's like the piano, he can just sit down and play, never had a lesson. One glance at the info that came with the camera, and he's already shooting in manual mode. I still have a lot to learn. The digital cameras are so much more complex than the old manual one I had where you just turned a few dials and pushed the button. 

So here they are, the first pics we took with our new camera! Remember: we're just beginners!

"Pouting Oliver", by Marty. Could that bottom lip get any bigger?

"Not ready for my close-up", by Marty. Oliver was getting tired of being a model.

"Full on Tantrum," by Marty. Who knows what this one was about.

"The wife," by Marty. Warning: I am not wearing make-up, view at your own risk.

"The wonderful husband," by Kelly. 

"Oliver loves yogurt," by Kelly

"I'm still learning to feed myself goopy things," by Kelly

"None of this other food is as fun as yogurt," by Kelly

"Wanna see?", by Kelly

"Being messy is fun!", by Kelly

I wish you could see these bigger, but this is as big as blogger will let me post. I may work on changing the layout if I can to put larger photos on. Still, you can click on a photo and it will open larger for you. I compressed them for the blog, but they are still pretty big.

So, if you thought I took a lot of photos before, get ready for even more! (Can you tell by the number of exclamation points in this post that I am really excited with our new toy?)

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Have Pack-n-Play, Will Travel

Watching the planes at the airport

With very little advance notice, Marty was told he needed to go to Cedar Rapids for a series of meetings for his project. Not looking forward to spending those 2 weeks alone with Oliver, we decided to figure out a way for me to go visit my mom and other family in Indiana while he was in Iowa. I'm a bit nervous about flying alone with Oliver, not that I couldn't handle him, but that I couldn't handle all his stuff! Marty's job pays for our tickets home, so we always get one for Oliver. So that means carrying a car seat, diaper bag, toy bag, and pushing Oliver in a stroller. Hard for one person to do. Marty very generously decided that we'd all fly to Chicago, and he'd rent a car and drive to CR from there. His parents picked Oliver and I up at the airport . . . of course they'd do anything to get to see their favorite (and only) grandson! We spent the night there, and then my mom drove the 3 hours to pick us up the next day. Yes, it all sounds horribly complicated, but it was all surprisingly easy. 

It was a very nice trip. We enjoyed getting to spend time with my mom, whom we didn't get to see at the holidays. Oliver also got to meet his Uncle Brad (my brother), and they bonded over legos and flinging tupperware lids. Oliver really is a great traveler. He adapts well to new places to sleep...even closets (nice large closets, of course!). His behavior overall was great. While on this trip, he started simply walking to his closet/room when it was time for bed, one night even skipping his book! If I said he needed a diaper change, he'd walk right to the corner of the room and lay down on the rug my mom had set up for that purpose! What an amazing change from the wrestling matches we used to get into over diaper changes!! If it weren't for missing Marty, I could have seriously just kept traveling. Maybe because Connecticut doesn't feel like home, but all our families houses do. Plus, it was nice to have the help with Oliver!! 
Anyway, here are the highlights in photos...

Helping Grandee (now called Nee-nee) feed the squirrels 

Walking through the woods around Grandee's house 

Coloring, his new favorite activity lately, along with making silly faces! 

Visiting my Aunt Pat & Uncle Dale, he really loved playing with all the tiny things in Aunt Pat's dollhouse. 

Grandee says, "Give me a kiss right there!" And Oliver points to his cheek instead.

Visiting my Aunt Bonnie & Uncle Terry for a few days. Oliver was obsessed with Sophia, their gorgeous, but allergy inducing (for me) cat. 

Sophia and Oliver staring each other down.

Making a salad while Bonnie and I cooked dinner. He's sitting in the highchair that my dad and aunt used as children, and we used as grandchildren at my grandparent's farm. So Oliver is the 3rd generation to use it, and it is in amazing condition. They don't make them like that anymore! 

Back to Grandma and Grandpa's (Mamaw and Pop-pop) house. Opening his Valentine's Day gifts from them.

Listening to the Ramones on Daddy's cell phone. 

Back on the plane again, getting ready for take-off!  Oliver did great on this flight. He kept himself entertained with a sippy cup and my empty plastic cup for almost an hour. Then we pulled out the surprise new toy: the Travel Doodle Pro! That was a huge hit! Highly recommend it! 

Naked baby at baggage claim. 

Yes, we had a blanket, but he kept throwing it off during our 30 minute game of peek-a-boo while Daddy waited for our luggage. 

Why is he naked? He puked on the plane. Well, technically, he puked all over himself and his carseat while the plane went through some very bumpy air right before landing. That's what happens when you sit in the back of the plane (again) due to Southwest's stupid boarding policy that doesn't allow families with small children to board first. Yes, I am writing a letter to corporate on that one! The back of the plane is the worst. He also seems to be blessed with my motion sickness gene. I remember puking on many a plane/car ride in my youth. Of course, the vomiting scared him and so he was crying pretty hard...until we came in for a landing a few minutes later. Then he immediately started laughing, yelled "Hooray!" and clapped. That got quite the laugh from the other passengers.

Good mother that I am, I didn't pack a change of clothes in any of our massive carry on bags, and his clothes were so awful, we had to strip him down. He did have a diaper just can't see it in this photo. Yes, we got quite a lot of stares on our walk to baggage claim. He was in his stroller and I had the blanket wrapped around him as best I could, but he kept throwing it off. Then during our long wait, I kept him entertained with a rousing game of peek-a-boo, throwing the blanket over his head, which had him cracking up hysterically. I swear the people at the airport must have thought we were nuts. Hey, whatever makes him happy.

In spite of the puking, we had a great trip. Oliver seems to love traveling more than being at home! So who wants us next? We're ready to go! 

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Ham & Bean Soup

I'm posting on the road from my new Netbook! So exciting, but I'll post more about that and our sudden trip to the midwest another time. Tonight, I want to share our yummy dinner! We had gotten a spiral ham for sandwiches last week, so we decided to make Ham and Bean Soup for dinner tonight, one of my long time favorites. Both my grandmothers made great ham and beans, so it's very appropriate that we had it here in Indiana. It's so easy, I don't know why I haven't made it more often. Oh yeah, we never buy a ham. Anyway, here's the recipe. It's basic, or should I say classic, but oh so delicious!

Ham and Bean Soup

1 pkg. 15 bean mix
2 qts. water
1 hambone + 1 cup chopped ham (or whatever you have leftover)
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. salt (I skipped this because the ham was salty enough)
1- 16 oz. can tomatoes, undrained, chopped
1- 10 oz. can tomatoes w/chili peppers (like Rotel)

Wash and soak beans overnight. Drain and rinse beans. Add all ingredients. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 2 hours or until beans are tender.