Monday, July 30, 2012

Photography Challenge Day #18 - Your Shoes

My shoes kept me smiling during a hectic day at church yesterday.

But I'm gonna let you in on a little secret:
The bows aren't part of the shoes.  They tie over the top of a pair of black low cut little socks that I wore with my usual black heels. My aunt gave these socks to me awhile ago, and I wish I knew how to get more.  Though it's sometimes hard to find something to wear them with, I LOVE them.  I am one sweaty-footed girl.  (I know you were all dying to know that.)  I get SO jealous of all you people running around in cute shoes with no socks.  If I try it not only do I always seem to get blisters, but the insoles of my shoes come completely unglued and everything just goes haywire.  I can't really wear shoes without some kind of sock or liner, but these make it so I don't have to hide my secret socks.  They turn my problem into something fun!

Maybe I need to just try making some more of these myself!


I want to force myself to practice taking photos a little more, so I'll be posting for this 30 Day Photography Challenge even though the "official" challenge is over.  However, posts are definitely not daily.

My rules for my self are:
1 - Take everything in manual mode
2 - No post-processing, only SOOC

Thursday, July 19, 2012

The Balance of Power in Car World

There is one thing all three of my kids will play together fairly reliably: cars.  Scott is the official owner of most of the Hot Wheels and Matchbox cars in our household, but the kids will play all together in overlapping story lines.  The way they each play cars is very indicative of their personalities. 

Scott (6 yrs old) plays with cars in fairly typical boy fashion.  The cars all live in "Car World" where they all compete via crashing into each other for the title of "Leader of All Cars."  It's a very alpha-male kind of set up, but really the important thing here is spectacular collisions.  The winner is usually whichever very cool looking car Scott has most recently acquired or taken a particular liking to.  It's like listening to "The Call of the Wild" play out every day in our playroom.

Kate (3 yrs old) explores a softer side to life in Car World where we see the basics of domestic life.  She takes subsets of the cars in Car World and groups them into families.  Mommy cars and daddy cars, baby cars, brother cars, and sister cars.  Important plots event includes classics like putting "baby" cars to bed. Sometimes the cars are even named the same names as the people in our extended family.  When other cars try to attack, these domestic cars become fiercely tribal.  They cry out things like, "Hey! That's my brother!"  However, they are mostly bark and no bite.  Really it's like an automotive version of "Little House on the Prairie."

Claire (8 yrs old) approaches cars from a more structured political perspective.  The reigning Leader of All Cars usually ensures his position by imprisoning insurgents.  Previous leaders and overthrown uprisings are promptly put in Car Jail or exiled to underneath the couch.  Order is maintained with an iron die-cast fist.  The cars sort out what the rules are going to be and then justice is dealt out accordingly.  It's like "Lord of the Flies" every day in our playroom, but minus the pig.

I'm starting a pool for when we'll first see democratic elections independently evolve in Car World.

Monday, July 9, 2012

The Crib is Like a Car and I Am Like a Group of Clowns

Kate still takes naps.  Maybe not every day, but often enough to be worth the effort.

The effort required is lying down with her while she falls asleep.  Which usually involves me falling asleep as well for a few minutes.  Until I hear one of the other kids coming upstairs, at which point I wake up in a panic and run as quietly as possible from the room to intercept them before they wake Kate up.  Any parent knows nap time is precious and worth some crazed tiptoeing and frantic silent gesturing.

But up until a couple days ago, Kate was still sleeping in her crib-turned-toddler-bed.  I am... not small.  So laying down with Kate was no simple task.  The bed still had rails on 3 sides.  It usually involved scooting her over as far toward the wall as possible and then laying down in the fetal position with my knees tucked up over her feet.  Then I would still be so close to the edge with my back end cantilevered slightly over the side that I would be in danger of falling out of the bed the second I drifted off.  To balance myself and hopefully prevent this, I would reach over her and grip one of the rails along the wall to keep from rolling off the side.  But it's hard to relax while gripping that rail.  Then Kate would fidget and violently cuddle me as she tried to settle down.  Meanwhile I used all my will power to keep from falling and/or sneezing because her hair was tickling my nose but I couldn't do anything about it because one of my hands was frantically holding on for dear life and the other one was locked in her death-grip cuddle.  And if I moved the arm she was cuddling before she was all the way asleep, it would rouse her and then take forever to get her to drift back off again.  Unless she was already mostly asleep, in which case if it woke her up TOO much she would decide that those 3 minutes of heavy lids was rest enough for her, and then she'd be nap-free for the rest of the day.  And once she would finally fall asleep and it was time to get up frantically jump up to intercept one of the other kids, I would have to carefully untangle my arm from her and my feet from between the slats and try to set them on the ground directly behind me with out falling backwards.  Usually if I managed to do this, somehow my feet would end up inside Kate's baby doll crib.  Which I would then frustratedly move FAR out of the way so that I could be sure one of the girls would move it right back in the way again the next day.

But over the weekend we did some furniture shopping, took down the crib, and put Kate in a twin bed!  I never thought a twin bed would feel SO spacious!  When I lay down with her now, I almost feel sad and nostalgic getting rid of our crib after using it with all three kids, but I'm usually too busy still fighting the cuddle-vice and the sneeze urge...

Thursday, July 5, 2012


Have you ever noticed what vegetarians usually "cheat" on?  I mean, beyond the usual non-vegan addition of eggs and dairy.  (Because you know, we used to have a word for people who don't eat meat.  It was vegetarian.  But suddenly it seems like everyone just skips straight from normal to vegan and people forget this whole ovo-lacto distinction and it's really confusing and frustrating when trying to talk to hippies people about B vitamins...) It seems like the first animal a vegetarian is willing to eat is a fish.

Sometimes, I have an issue with this.  If your reason for being vegetarian is purely because you believe that meat will cause you to lead a life of misery and early death, then while I won't be joining you in not eating it, I have to let that one go because maybe fish is better for you than other meat.  Or if you believe that fish lead less miserable lives than other animals raised for meat in our society, then I guess I'll let that slide too.  But if you have issue with eating another animal because you value life, then THIS is what I have an issue with.

If you value all life, then why does a fish have less right to life than a chicken?  I mean, just because fish are all scaly and don't blink doesn't mean they're worse than kittens.  I propose that if you value life, then eating a smaller animal like a fish or chicken is worse because more animals have to die to provide the same amount of meat.  Whereas, one cow can feed a lot of people.

Thus I propose a new way to eat.  I call it being a gigantavore.  Eat meat from the largest animal possible so that the fewest number of animal lives are lost to feed the largest number of people.

Anyone know a good source of sustainably farmed whale???

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Photography Challenge Day #17 - Technology

One of my favorite technologies - pyrotechnics!


I want to force myself to practice taking photos a little more, so I'll be posting for this 30 Day Photography Challenge even though the "official" challenge is over.  However, posts are definitely not daily.

My rules for my self are:
1 - Take everything in manual mode
2 - No post-processing, only SOOC

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

The Sparkler Testing Process is Grueling

We bought fireworks for the 4th, but we decided to "make sure they were working correctly."  At least, if the kids notice some used sparklers, that's our story and we're sticking to it!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Behind the Scenes

I had to share some behind the scenes stories from Kate's birthday party.

When we were hurrying to pull the last few things together for the party, the kids were a little restless.  So my dad suggested watching a video for a little bit.  After much deliberation, we settled on "March of the Penguins."

Except when they turned on the TV, everyone forgot about penguins:

What had them so entranced?

 Race cars.

Who needs penguins when there are vehicles moving at 200 mph???  Hey, whatever works!

Kate was really enjoying her cupcake.  She even licked the wrapper when she was done.  So it shouldn't have surprised me when she dropped a big piece while eating it and decided it was still good!

Cupcake a la Pool - Chocolate cake covered in a sandstone coated buttercream frosting with notes of chlorine and sunscreen.

After the last guest left, then the REAL party started:

Who knew all you need is a baby float to turn my sister into a luchadora?