Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Princess Play Castle

Our 2 year old had a birthday, which means I can now refer to her as the 3 year old. Anybody else agree that 3 is much worse than the supposed "terrible two's"? Can't wait to see what new fits this girl can conjure up. She is not as innocent as she looks.

We spoiled her rotten this birthday - so much so, I'm slightly ashamed of myself. Just wait until you see what we made her.

I mean, how can you resist spoiling a child when they give you looks like that?

Her birthday theme request was very specific. "I wanna pink princess party." Mommy was very happy to oblige - pink is my favorite color you know.

While I had a great time sprinkling the house with pink, she had a great time with all her cousins.

The party ended with the reveal of the "special surprise" downstairs. And let me tell you, her face was priceless.

Too bad I missed it on my camera.

For the past 2 weeks my husband and I have been busy every spare second working on this play castle.

Okay, okay - possibly more him than I. But that sweet man made every ridiculous request of mine happen.

I didn't go easy on the requests either. Tower and all - babe!

Yes dear, a princess does need a place to hang her dresses, even if they won't stay there for more than 2 seconds.

And there must be a cute little window flowing with drapery.

But darling - where would a princess put her glass slippers and crowns if you don't build a shelf?

Where would they rest their pretty little heads if you don't build a wee little bed?

How could they ever be Rapunzel without a window to let their hair down?

It just wouldn't be a castle without a draw-bridge!

I'm not demanding, am I? Of course, I didn't have any excuse when he told me I had to paint it. That's a little perk when you are pregnant, I've learned. But that was okay, because then he didn't have any power to tell me I couldn't paint it pink :)

All that pestering has been worth every second, just to see how much she has loved it.

Of course, she is not the only one enjoying it.

For any of you who would have loved a step by step tutorial, I apologize. He just wouldn't go that far. But I do hope it serves as an inspiration for anyone who may be looking for it.

Birthdays always make me stop and think about how fast they grow, and how I wish I could just freeze them in these tender young years. And yet, I wonder how it's possible to think this at the same moment I'm yearning for the years when they are a little less dependent on mommy. Can anyone explain that?

There is one final gift that needs to find it's way into a post, made just by mommy. Haven't gotten her to hold still long enough in it to snap some pictures.

So check back!
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Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Covered Wagon

You might remember this wagon from over here.

Now it is new and improved.

I had a reader comment that our wagon would be perfect if it had some cover for shade.

After using it a few times, I had to agree.

We went for the covered wagon look. The kiddos were quite amused by it.

It was really a life savor when that wind started kickin' in and blowing sand in our eyes. Baby was perfectly comfortable and having a wonderful time in her wagon. No wind or sun could dampen her day.

Biggest sister wasn't near as interested in the wagon that day as the beautiful, stick filled, sandy beaches (I'm kind of being sarcastic, by the way). That's as good as the beach gets around here. We won't mention the temperature of the water. But how I wish it was crystal clear blue water. It would have served my pictures better.

To make the cover, I simply used a rectangular piece of duck cloth, and sewing casings into each side. After threading the rope through the casing it was tied onto the wagon and held up by some supports that handy husband made.

And now I can say, our wagon is perfect. Couldn't love it more.

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Friday, August 5, 2011

A New Hobby

Hobby - Distraction - Money Drainer - Time stealer - Excuse for a messy house -

Whatever you want to call it, I have a new one.

I bought this baby not long ago, and have been tinkering around with it for awhile. Still feel like I have no clue (because I don't) how to work the thing, but it's been fun to pretend to be professional.

I've driven my family nuts snap-snapping in there faces at every gathering. Let me tell you, I've got a lot to learn. I've had some pictures turn out pretty good, most have been okay, and A LOT have been really bad. It's a work in process. Please don't expect the pictures on this blog to transform overnight. But they are no doubt, better than my old point and shoot so it's worth every hard earned penny.Link

I've gathered a couple of resources to help me learn the tricks to the trade. You may have seen them surfing around.

The first book I read was this one here: Say NO to Auto: by Kristen Duke Photography.
It was a great beginner book on learning the settings. I had a couple of my readers recommend it and I'm so glad they did. I'm not so much in the dark now. It really opened my eyes to what my camera can do and the potential that it has. Up until reading and applying the things she talks about, I kind of felt that my camera didn't have the capacity to take that great of pictures. It is probably the most basic of the Canon Rebels. Little did I know - It was all me screwing it up! Good to know :) She had an updated version of the book available now which I can't wait to get my hands on.

This next ebook, I'm still reading through, but I've loved it! It is from Katie Evans Photography, titled: The Key to Taking Pictures like a Professional Photographer. It is very thorough and sheds light on so many aspects of photography. Great for the clueless (like me) and for others who may have more of a clue as to what they are doing. I read it every chance I can get.

I've also found great help on Pioneer Woman's site. I read her posts under photography discussing aperture. I'm glad I read this first, it was the perfect introduction for someone with no photography background whatsoever.

Any way, as I've mentioned before, my justification for all of this was to never have to pay for JCPenny Portraits ever again. It was rarely a good experience for me.

So I decided to play my first photography session with the baby, who is now 7 months old.

Though I hope much improvement is yet to come, I am officially saying "bye-bye" to JCPenny.

We will see how that goes.

I took a bazillion shots, and got a few good ones. I haven't a clue where my focus was aiming half the time. I thought it was on her. Oh well.

Perhaps my biggest mistake was trying to do it all when she was extremely tired and hungry. Not too many happy faces for mommy.

Just look at those eyes. Makes me tired to look at them. Poor thing.

So I thought I would cover them a bit since she wouldn't look at me any way. I think she has learned how annoying I am with that camera in my face, she seriously will not look at me every time I get it out. Little stink.

But on the rare occasion I can trick her into looking at me, and I'm fast enough - she melts my heart with those puppy dog eyes.

That was certainly the best of the lot. I will admit to the help of Photoshop though. Speaking of Photoshop, that is a time stealer too. Anybody have an extra few thousand hours they can give me for all my hobbies? I'll take a maid and a babysitter too ;)

Of course I'm not the only one enjoying my camera either.

This one will pose for me any time.

Not only that, but she also begs to be the button pusher too. She isn't to bad at it, either.

I know.

I'm a complete weirdo.

But hey, if a 4 year old can do it . . .

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Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Just too Busy to Blog

Just too busy having fun, any way.

Rather than spending time on the computer, we have been -

Soakin' up the summer sun while it lasts.

Workin' on our tans.

Going too much to work on a decent baby sleeping schedule.

Celebrating our Independence

with family and loved ones.

Getting sick from way too much junk food,

and too much heat.

Enjoying a firework show.

And doing some of our own.

Going fishing.

Catching more smiles than fish.

Re-uniting with family that live way too far away.

Going on a surprise back-packing trip with just him and I.

He scored big points for this one.

Throwing in a craft

or two.

Bouncing around.

Checking out the aquarium.

Jumping on hotel beds.

Slowing down for a cuddle.

Exploring the children's museum.

Plenty of backyard fun.

With no cares in the world.

Just loving every second we have with the ones we love most.

Being grateful each day for the gift of raising these angels.

While hoping we don't screw up too bad.

I'm sure normal crafting, sewing and blogging will resume as normal soon.

But it's been a nice break.

Enjoy the rest of your summer!

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