I was tagged by Helen and Lilja. I needed to go into my photos folder, find the 6th folder of photos and then the 6th photo in the folder. I have to post that photo on my blog and describe it. Most of my photos are in iPhoto and my photo folders are mostly things I have scanned in. Here is Alison's school picture from Kindergarten. Weren't we lucky to get such a great photographer!!!
My Daisy troop made bird seed pine cones for the girls before Christmas. It took the birds a very long time to find our cone and even longer for me to be able to catch them with a camera. Now that they found us they come back every day and we keep needing to put new cones out. So this is shot through a window with a screen, but I am pretending that I applied a fancy schmancy texutre in post processing. :)
Horrified by how ghastly Alison's Day 23 photo appeared in my browser (even though it was perfectly lovely in iPhoto, Lightroom, and Photoshop), I deleted it. Here is another photo I took at the same time with a slower shutter speed. The extra light does wonders for her complexion. My beauty tip of the day. ha ha ha
Ooops and all my cheating and reposting photos has me a bit confused. I now see I put the wrong date on there. I hope I can get back on track today. :)
I figured I should get a picture of this since there is a month long saga behind it. Even though I took this picture yesterday, it is my Day 22 photo. I'm a cheater, I know, but I can live with it. lol
During winter break, Serena started complaining about having marbles in her ears. Yes marbles. Because she tends to have very brittle ear wax, I assumed this was her problem and started giving her ear wax softener and flushing her ear, but it didn't really seem to work. So, I assumed she was just being silly since she didn't have any pain or maybe she was seeking attention since Maya had just had a nasty ear infection. But she persisted with idea and few weeks later she started picking at her ear. I also ignored this since she has itchy ears and we have taken her in to the doctor more than once in the past and they never found a problem.
Well, can you believe she was sitting watching TV one day and pulled a 1/2 chunk of candy cane out of her ear. I didn't see this happen but given the ear wax clinging to it I took her at her word. lol And being excellent at inductive reasoning from all my years of watching crime shows, I concluded that given the end of the candy cane came out intact she had in fact removed all of the candy cane. Problem solved. Um no. So Serena became obsessed that there candy cane remained in her ears. I won't win any "mother of the year awards" for this but I told her it was all out and stop picking at it. If each darn visit to the doctor didn't cost $90, I probably would have taken her in to be sure. Well she kept picking and started pulling red pieces out which she was convinced were candy canes but they were actually scabs. I tried to convince her to stop picking. Finally the school mentioned it to me TWICE. Ugg. Shamed by her teacher, I finally took her in. Nothing in the ear, just scabs from picking at it. But lo and behold, Serena listens to the doctor. Over a month's time, a chunk of candy, and $90 later, Serena has finally stopped complaining about her ear.
So why this picture? This is her watching TV with antibiotic drops in her ear. Since she had a few scabs, we are being safe and treating her.
新年快乐 As a family we really enjoy Chinese New Year. In addition to putting up decorations, we have gone every year for the last 4 or 5 years to a campus community variety/talent show and it is really fun for all of us. We also get together with our neighbors for dinner, have a family dinner, and I usually give the girls a little gift like new clothes.
I am sooooo behind. I think I missed a day here too. Yikes. I'll have to do a make up photo.
Friday I woke up with a little kitty on my bed. Actually there were two - this little tiger was snuggling with our cat but by the time I got my camera she ran away. Alison has been feeling run down all week and even though I got a few more cheerful shots, this really shows how she has felt all week so it's my photo for that day. Thanks for looking! :)
ETA Does anyone struggle with color when they post to the internet? Her skin looks so much paler here than it does in Photoshop, Lightroom, and iPhoto. I don't know if it is Firefox or if all browsers do this. I have the same issue in Smugmug so it's not just Blogger. Is anyone else a little surprised when they view their photos on line? This is always most noticeable for me with pale colors.
ETA again. I decided to remove this photo. She is so pale here it was freaking me out. I wish I could show you the picture I see off line. I'll post one of the others soon.
Serena has insisted for months that she can't write her name. They try to teach her at school and she always says it is too hard and she'll learn next time. I figured out this week that she is more willing to practice letters on a Magnadoodle. So we practiced a few letters yesterday and today she wrote her name for the first time all together. :)
We have been busy and then gone. At the last minute a colleague of my husband offered us a ski condo in Steamboat Springs. So we packed up and went. I hadn't skied in 10 years and the girls have never skied. I wasn't sure how they would do since they aren't always very tough.
Here are our pictures.
Alison and Maya took turns skiing with me our last day while Martin hung out with them at the really warm outdoor pool. Serena had no interest in going back out. Skiing used to be a HUGE part of my life and it felt really great to be out with them!
All three girls had a great time learning to ski and they all did great!!
Here is our condo. We were so so so lucky to have this amazing place to stay. I have skied many many many times and have never experienced anything like this. We could ski right out our door to the lift. The lift in the picture wasn't operating but we just went down the hill to another lift. We bought our tickets across from the condo. It was wonderful at lunch and the end of the day to come in to someone who took our equipment away and gave us snacks and drinks. :)
Alison sporting her new goggles! All set for our trip.
Here's a quick snapshot capturing how excited Alison was to receive a free book in the mail. I honestly never expected a child her age could love books so much. It was all she wanted for Christmas. I love it! :)
ETA - This book came as a promotion for something called the Creative Club for Girls. It was totally unexpected!
OK enough of the food shots. On to something cuter. Maya lost her second tooth today. She was so brave and pulled it out herself!
I feel like I am getting the whole focus even if it is off center thing down. Now my goal is to figure out white balance. I spend so much time fixing white balance issues. But, when I change the white balance setting to the incandescent bulb setting my pictures end up completely blue. Anybody out there know what I am doing wrong. Do I need to use a card and set it manually? I have to say that sounds like a huge pain if I am only going to take a few photos. Is fiddling with it in Lightroom easier?
PS I cheated and ran the dodge tool over Maya's eyes to bring out a bit of sparkle. Thanks Tammy for the tip!
OK I know Bon Apetit is not going to be knocking down my door on their next search for a photographer, but I wanted to document a decision I made yesterday. (shhh, I am so not in love with this photo I almost cheated and used a photo from a different day, but I'm not a cheater at heart so you get to look at this unappetizing picture of what really was a yummy dinner).
I really love to cook and I especially love Indian, Thai, Mexican, and Chinese food. But, these foods usually take a few special ingredients and some advance prep. I used to spend several hours a night to make dinner even when Alison was little - sounds insane to me now. I have gotten to the point that I spend about twenty minutes and really hate eating. I have decided that I need to start thinking about dinner earlier in the day so I can make a decent meal. I don't want to spend hours on dinner, but at least get it going so if something needs to cook a while we can still have it. Though Martin was gone for dinner last night, I made a simple dal and really enjoyed it. It is so easy, but it takes a while to cook I was glad I had decided to plan ahead. :)
Serena's birthday is a month before the kindergarten cutoff. I have no idea how to decide if she should start in the fall. Some days I lean one way. Other days I lean the other way. My main hesitations are her undeveloped fine motor skills and her inability to sit still and concentrate on one activity for very long. Lately she has been showing huge improvement in these areas. Here she was yesterday working very hard on cutting and gluing. Yay!
Oh No!!! Somehow I have managed to avoid much interest in Barbies up until Sunday. Ugh. We have a pile of hand me down Barbies in the basement that the kids haven't played with in years. But now all of a sudden Serena is in love with them it is all she wants to do. I'm glad she is having fun but I really had thought they were on their way to Goodwill. Sigh. So as of Saturday, this is a typical scene on our living room floor. Not a stellar photo, but documents our day. :)
So Serena (yes I have already given up not referring to my kids by name) has developed this horrid habit of sniffing all day long. And I don't mean normal sniffing. She some how gets her mouth involved making an awful slurping sound - she even sticks her tongue out just a tad. And to make matters worse she doesn't even appear to have a cold. Like a said - horrid habit. After about a month of ineffective nagging (is nagging ever effective?). I gave her 100 pennies and told her that I would take one away every time she did the sniff. If she has any left at the end of the weekend she can use 5 of them on the penny horsey ride at the grocery store. Well it worked. There are dry tissues all over my house (remember the no actual cold part) but she is blowing her nose instead of sniffing. Yay! it got a little extreme when we were out to dinner when she was so preoccupied with blowing her nose we had threaten to take the tissues away if she didn't eat. I am starting to think we are going to need a secondary plan to get her to quit blowing her nose. Can allergies cause a dry nose tickle? She is definitely bothered by something! :)
Well my first missed day. I had a really busy day and really didn't feel up to this in the evening. But I made a mental note that this would be a good make up photo. I am on an antibiotic right now that apparently would make me violently ill if I drank alcohol. I normally have a glass of wine with dinner and dinner just doesn't taste right to me without it. So this is a little photo to document how I couldn't figure out what to drink last night. Nothing else tastes quite right at dinner time. Oh and I figured I better be careful with the photo on the blog so I marked out everything personal.
It was so nice today that Serena and I were outside without coats. The sun is so wonderfully warm here in the winter. I hung out two loads of laundry and she played. Took some pictures of her playing and the laundry but this was so sweet I had to post it. :D
Here's a laundry shot just for fun. I love the idea that I am drying winter clothes outside. Can you tell I was obsessed with reds against the blue sky?
ETA I had to respond to JoAnn's disbelief that I hang laundry. I begrudgingly started hanging laundry this fall - the sun is so strong here and it is so dry I felt guilty not at least trying it. Well turns out I LOVE it. I love the time outside at times I wouldn't ordinarily go out. I love how the laundry smells. And most of all I love spinning my little line to sort by family member as I take it down and folding outside. Every time it is even remotely warm and sunny I get excited and I put laundry in first thing so I can hang it out. Does this make me an eco-dork?
It is Girl Scout cookie time!! Our sales start Friday. As my daughter's Daisy co-leader it seems like cookies is all I have thought about this week. Monday was a cookie meeting, yesterday I met with the cookie mom, today I called around for possible charities the girls could ask people to buy cookies and donate to - they chose our local homeless shelter - such a cool program. And then we had the girls' cookie meeting . My third grade Brownie had her cookie meeting today too. Here she is sampling this year's new cookie - yum!
Yay! Still on track. This is my six year old working so hard on decorating a cupcake with her new cupcake maker. She just loves appliances. Her first appliance was a Hello Kitty waffle maker - that was all she wanted for Christmas when she was 2.5. She has a snow cone maker and a real (not toy) Hello Kitty sewing machine. OK the cupcake maker really isn't an appliance but you get the idea! :)
BTW My kids are keeping score. It was very important to Maya that she be featured today as the photo of the day. How many years until she is horrified to see herself on my blog? ha ha ha
My kids went back to school this morning. I took this picture last night as I was getting their things ready for our morning get out the door routine. I really love how all their lunch stuff looked all lined up.
I just wanted to mention that I really enjoy looking at everyone's photos. And reading your nice comments! I hope I can keep this up all year because already I am getting so much out of this project!! :)
I'm behind already. Here are my pictures from yesterday - I couldn't decide which one I preferred so I picked two. My daughter was working so hard on a map of Hungary for a school project. She had a lamp next to her on the table and it gave such a nice soft glow.
My photography goal for right now is to learn to be more consistent in getting the focus right - I always try but the pictures are rarely focused where I intend them to be - especially when I use my 50mm lens. Any advice?
I was planning to take a picture of Serena and her little friend saying goodbye. Their over exuberant hug brought them crashing to the ground. Serena banged her head on the hard floor and even though she tried to hold it together began to cry. As soon as she was done getting a hug from me, her friend gave her this sweet kiss to feel better. I tried my best to capture it even though I had left the camera on manual and had no time to even check my settings.
Today was a good day on my 365 journey. Today I realized that if I am going to do this for my family I need to worry less about the quality of the photo and more what the photos captures. I caught this sweet moment in a quite horrid photo. But, I decided it was the best photo for our day anyway. Bad photography - yes. Over processed - yes. Winner of the day - yes!!
Here's the original photo. I am really happy that I was able to salvage it as much as I did. At first glance, I thought it was probably destined for the trash can.
Today was about getting the girls out of the house and getting some exercise. Alison and Maya went to the park in the afternoon while Serena napped but we knew they needed to get out long before that. So we waked to Sonic. The mile and a half walk and time outside did them wonders. And it was so nice they just stayed outside until it was park and nap time.
This picture didn't turn out as well as I had hoped. Turns out it is hard to get 3 kids to hold their arms out straight, keep drinks from blocking their faces, and smile all while mom tries to fit them in the 50mm lens and keep the cups in focus!! lol But that is what this projcet is about for me - challenges. :) I was hoping they would be a little more blurred but with the bent elbows their faces just weren't that far from their drinks.
My first photo! This picture sums up our day. The kids stayed up past midnight last night so we just lounged around the house today. We played a lot of games and watched a movie and a half. The games really were the theme of the day. They kept tired kids calm and at the end of our day sent everyone into fits of giggles.