Friday, January 29, 2010

iPhoto thinks it's smarter than me.

I went to clean up. Tons of extra folders were created when I uploaded pics to flickr and Facebook, so being a typical Norwegian, I went to throw out the folders I didn't need. After all, the photos are still there, right? Why have duplicates?

Well, apparently, iPhoto now has a special relationship with Flickr and Facebook, and when you do this, it deletes them off the sites you loaded them on.

Stupid. Argh!

So I am busy reloading everything, but all the comments are gone and the links are likely broken, so sorry. At least it's only a month's worth.

Sigh. I feel like yelling at someone to get off my lawn.


2/365, originally uploaded by MrsBinParis.

Every afternoon, Rowan and I walk Lucy. In the summer, we usually walk a mile and a half, but in the winter (and especially since she's insisted on walking rather than riding in the stroller), I cut it to a mile. Lucy needs it--she won't do her job near her house, and insists on 3 walks per day, every day. Our walk time varies, sometimes right after lunch, sometimes after Rowan's nap, but it's not skippable, no matter how bad the weather.

The last few days have been pretty cold, in the 20's F (-7C) with a brisk wind, so the walks haven't been as leisurely as usual. We've been sneaking back to take this shortcut behind some townhomes to get out of the wind on the way home.

The tree line that was here likely was part of an old farm, as the trees had barbed wire embedded in them. I guess they were rotten, and the city is cutting them down. It's hard to see them go, and it really changes the landscape. I'm really hoping the rot didn't spread further down the line to nearer our home. The trees are part of the reason I like the area so much.

*Craptastic photo today, I know. But it's what I saw.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

1/365. Maybe.

Sadness, originally uploaded by MrsBinParis.

My friend challenged me to do the 365 project. She keeps bugging me about it.

So I'm not saying yes, and I'm not saying no. But I'll try. And it will get me blogging more, which is a side benefit, I guess.

This is day 1. I love it because the emotion on her face is so poignant. She didn't want me to take the picture, she asked politely, and I still did. She looks so sad and disappointed in me.

We were having a snack of raspberry sherbet and graham crackers to celebrate day 2 of demon child disappearing. I don't know if it was a developmental stage, being fed up with potty training, or a growth spurt (which was part of it, I'm pretty sure), but for a week or two my child had been replaced by a hellcat. I was ready to lose my marbles. Most days consisted of lots of frustration, yelling, and tears, from both of us. It was bizarre--almost like being in an abusive situation, because I never knew what was going to set her off. I walked on eggshells.

Then all of a sudden, she woke up and was back to her old self. I barely dared mention it in my constant updates on Facebook for fear it would end. But today, she was herself again. Kind, sweet, polite, happy, excited by little things like hot Vanilla Silk with a candy cane stirrer after a cold, blustery walk with Lucy.

The relief was overwhelming. I know I am lucky--some kids are that way all the time. But man, I am not cut out for dealing with that. If it's a job, you can quit. If it's a friend or partner, you can end the relationship. But if it's your 2 year old daughter? You have to deal. I don't know how to deal. I am so thankful that my prayers were answered.

A moment after this was shot, when I set down the camera, she was smiling again. Thank you.

Valentine's Centerpiece

Valentine's Centerpiece

I try to make it a Monday tradition to clean my table of everything except some sort of linen and a centerpiece, whether it's flowers, weeds we picked on our daily walks stuffed in a crystal vase, a bowl of apples, or even just a candle. It helps me start the week fresh, feeling ready, and if I didn't do it, my table would never be cleaned off. It's big enough to just push stuff out of the way and eat dinner, and my husband, though he'd like to be thought of as "spartan", is a clutter collector extraordinaire. I admit to contributing, but I try to keep organized. It goes in spurts.

These are Wonka SweetTarts, one of my favorite Valentine candies, along with Dove chocolate hearts. These are also great, because eating more than a few makes my mouth hurt with the acid, so I can't overindulge. I don't like the blue ones (fruit punch?), but I still eat them. The hurricane I got at Walmart for about 3 bucks after seeing a similar, larger one in Pottery Barn for 60 and thinking that was absolutely ridiculous. The candle is just an unscented pillar from Target.

And yes, it is possible to sneak a few candies while it's burning, but I'm pretty sure you burn off the calories with the whole "fear of burning off your arm hair" thing.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Trying to get over it.

I have an awesome new camera. And it has intimidated the heck out of me. Now, I have an awesome new laptop. So yeah, the problem is with me and taking the time to learn the new technology. But, I've bit the bullet and begun. It's not perfect or amazing yet, but at least I've started. I'm giving myself credit for taking the leap. (Yes, credit involves chocolate. Of course.)

So here's a little slideshow of some of my favorite Christmas photos. In this set, you'll see lots of Rowan, both sets of grandparents, and very little of me. One may not be available, because it's an absolutely adorable bath photo, but if you're a friend I've approved on flickr, you can go see it there. Trying to keep her nakedness private, just in case. (But it is a darn cute little bathtub smile.)


Thursday, January 14, 2010

22.5 weeks

22.5 weeks

Unfortunately, the new camera doesn't have a "no zits and make my arm skinny" button.

So this is the bump. Unfortunately, what I can feel of Bootsie only takes up about 1/4 of the bottom. Hopefully the rest of it isn't peanut butter M&M's, but I make no guarantees. We had a doctor appointment about an hour after this was taken, and he described her as a "very active baby!" 156 heart beats per minute for our little girl, growing at the expected rate. (As am I. I am up about 6 lbs.). No problems with her, none with me. Everything is going swimmingly, and despite all the warnings about being pregnant while chasing a toddler, this time I've found it much easier. I'm no longer a substitute teacher running all over town, and I have 2 good legs. Having a torn ACL and meniscus and undergoing surgery while pregnant is not something I'd recommend to anyone.

Bootsie apparently is going to be a woodwind player. During rehearsal, she goes bananas during sax or clarinet solos. We might just have a jazzer on our hands. And when I contract my abs to support my tone, she relaxes, just like her sister did. I've given notice that I won't be at the May concert, but plan to make it through February. After that, we'll see. Unless he wants me to conduct, of course.*

*After plenty of nagging from me, our director allowed me to conduct the band. Then he and the band saw that I can really do it well. I was the first woman to conduct the State College Area Municipal Band in concert, ever. I don't plan on that being a one-time thing.

Friday, January 08, 2010

OK, this time it's for real.

I've been trying. Really. For months. Hoping, praying, begging. Cajoling, rewarding, enticing, encouraging.


Of course, it wasn't working. She didn't want to be potty trained. And she screamed whenever we had to wipe her poopy areas, screamed like we were killing her. Boy, that feels great, let me tell you. And diapers. Cloth, paper, pee, poop--I know there's more coming, but frankly, I'd love a little break before that happens.


Christmas is over, the family has left. She's gotten the concept that she's going to be a big sister (though sometimes she seems to think the baby will come out and be older than her. We are working on this.) She's excited.

She finally wants to be A Big Girl.

Yesterday, I did what I always do. "Rowan, do you want to try sitting on the potty?"

(If she could breathe fire, this would be one instance where you'd have seen it.)

And that was it. The straw that broke the camel's back.

"I don't care. It's time. Get in here. NOW!"

Of course, she ignored me.

So I pulled out the big guns.

"I'm counting to 5. If you aren't in here by 5, I am turning off Sesame Street."

She was in there. Crying, yes, but there.

So, we did the training pants all day, with rubber pants over (for no apparent reason, because when she has an accident, she's pretty much soaked anyway. But whatever. I keep using them.) She did pretty well. 2 accidents, a small turd (first on the potty.) Many gummi bears.

Today, again, 3 accidents, but a massive poop on the potty to offset that (resulting in a big strawberry marshmallow. I'm all about the corn syrup-laden rewards). She's going, but only when I take her, never on her own before the fact. (Note, the accidents were within about 10 minutes of an attempt each time, so don't say I'm not taking her often enough. I'm really really trying here.) We ran some errands and I put her in a diaper, which she filled with pee, but at least let me know when it was happening (and all the other shoppers around us, too, natch.) She was also very polite to the lady who let us in the bathroom to clean up.

Tonight, I found some more ammo in the closet.

A green fairy costume, with wings, I'd found on sale at the craft store years ago for a few bucks--the perfect carrot. 3 days with no accidents AND remembering to tell Mommy before she pees and not just relying on me to take her.

Wish us luck.

Monday, January 04, 2010

Rest in Peace, Ethel, the Medieval Laptop

I have a hard time buying things.

Ha haha hahahahahahahah.

OK, well. Not shoes.

But some things, yes. Big things. Expensive things, for me, especially. If it's a pair of cute jeans on sale for $30, yeah, no hesitation. But anything more than about 50 bucks and I get nervous.

Thus, I was still happily (somewhat) typing away on my old laptop (a birthday gift back in the early days of the last decade). It had a newer hard drive, but was pretty slow for a Mac. I was on keyboard #3 (thanks to Miss Sticky Fingers) and it sounded vaguely like a jet plane taking off when you opened it. Either that or one of those toilets that flushes so loud you're pretty sure you will lose a kidney if you don't stand up when you hit the lever. You know the ones.

And I was still using my little point-and-shoot camera with the sand stuck in the controls from our time at the beach (I could go up, but not down). And editing the living daylights out of the photos in iPhoto, a slow process on my Gothic computer.

I had fear. Fear of certain websites with lots of flash animation and videos. Fear of loading yet more photos on, because I already had over 4GB on it worth of snaps of Rowan. Fear of taking and saving too many photos, for the lack of room and the time it took to upload them. Much time was spent deleting photos after scrutinizing them on the tiny screen of my little brown camera. More time was spent waiting for the screen or the internet to catch up with my fingers as I surfed and scrolled.

But I am a lucky, lucky woman.

For Christmas, I opened a box with a new Nikon D90. I'm still learning to use it. But I can already tell, the photos are beautiful. Gorgeous. Amazing. Even with little ability or skill applied yet.

Dr. B asked last night why I hadn't uploaded the photos I've taken at Christmas. I answered with tales of trepidation as to how much Ethel could handle. Maybe we should buy a little extra hard drive to save photos? USB drives? Something? Because I was afraid of deleting photos, but even more afraid of loading more on to an old lady whose back was nearly broken already.

Today, he came home from work and tossed a small neoprene sleeve on the sofa.

A new laptop, for me.

His custom bike's purchase (which is really his Christmas gift) will be put off a month or two. Thanks to a bit of a pay bump due to his new position at work, there's more breathing room. (And lucky for my own guilt, it's a bit chilly and snowy for biking anyway.)

And he says I deserve it.


I am so spoiled. Blessed. And very, very lucky. I would have been happy with flowers.

And now, so is Rowan. She's currently cuddled up next to me, watching T'choupi videos on YouTube on my old laptop as I type this on my new one.

Happy New Year, indeed.
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