Sunday, October 30, 2011

Busy weekend!!

There have been a lack of posts lately, only because things around here have been SO busy! 'Tis the season!!

Friday was a busy day for the littlest C, he had a Halloween parade, a Halloween party at daycare and then Husband and I drove with little C to God's country for a little Homecoming festivities.

If you all are unaware, OSU has the largest Homecoming in the nation. While husband and I were there, we participated in the amazingness called pomping. Pomping is where you take chicken wire, wallpaper paste and tissue paper and poke it in the holes either using your finger or with the little chicken wire - a pencil. It is incredibly tedious and time consuming. I say we participated in pomping, but really I pomped, Husband was one of the few welding and cutting and making the moving parts work. The pairing of houses usually starts working on homecoming about a week or two after school starts and they don't finish up until around Halloween. It is non stop and ends with an ALL NIGHT POMP where you stay up all night watching the boys finish up welding their large structures to hold all of the pomp screens, hanging screens, caffeine and lots of wallpaper paste. I remember being so delirious the next day, leaving the fraternity house ONLY to attend class in my stinky, glued together clothes; just to head back immediately as class let out to help finish before judging at 5 pm.

It sucked, but it was awesome. Those were some good times, and fun memories. Aaaaaaannnyway. Husband and I were thoroughly impressed at how much it has changed just in the five years we were there. Almost the entire decs are micropomped (with the tiny holes the size of a pencil), and houses were getting more and more creative on how to make parts move. Wind power, solar power, water power. Honestly? Impressive. Did I mention how expensive this mess is? It used to be about 10k per house, so a pair would spend up to 20k. WHAT? Just to say you won?? Okay, sidetracked.

While we were there, little C had the breakdown of all breakdowns. He's never had that issue before. I think coupled with riding in the car for and hour and a half, to being put in a stroller and riding around in that for an hour or two, poor kiddo didn't get to walk/play around any. And he likes to be on the go, so I think all the sitting made him crazy. We were on our way back to the car, and boyfriend LOST. HIS. S%#$. Hardcore. He was wailing! We couldn't figure out what he wanted or how to make it stop. So we changed his diaper, put him in his PJs, gave him a snack and turned on a movie in the car on the way home. That helped, but more than anything he wanted to play peek-a-boo. I was happy to oblige.

Saturday was clean the house day and boyfriend took a four hour nap to make up for the poor nights sleep in the car on the way home from the night before. He went to bed appropriately on Saturday night but woke up once, I think his teeth are still bothering him. The house looks great though, and needed a good fall cleaning. I steam mopped and cleaned baseboards and pulled all kinds of objects apart and cleaned them...ahem*highchair*cough.

Sunday is funday. Husband and I got up and hit the kitchen. We made some breakfast quiche, and sausage and biscuits. Yum! Husband then went outside to work on recaulking and repainting the house and Camden and I played. I went to run errands and little C woke from nap so Husband brought lil C out to play with him while he was caulking. He sent me a picture of lil C while I was out that looked something like this...

yup. That is what happens when I let husband babysit.

In all seriousness though, he said Camden was out there playing around the ladder - no big deal. Then he turned around and homeboy was halfway up it! So when I got home Husband called me to come watch. Sure enough the kid can climb to the top, then climb down. WHAT? How does a 14 month old learn how to climb a ladder?? Let me just reiterate that Husband did NOT teach him how to get up or down. whoa!

I'll be back to regularly scheduled posts as soon as my heart rate returns to normal. :)

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Australia: Part 7, Melbourne Part 2

We spent most of our time in Melbourne looking for street art. In Melbourne it is legal, you just have to get a permit. You could walk into an alley and just get lost in the amazing street art. Those alleyways were stunning and really added character to the city. It was almost like treasure hunting to decide which alley way we wanted to walk down to see if we would happen upon some art. Truly impressive the talent these people have with a can of spray paint!

The first alley we walked into and scored some art, we were lucky enough to notice this...
{This is a map to the street art! Success!!}

{Preston got his picture made with the naughty nurse}

{So of course Boone wanted his with her as well!}

{I love this picture because it looks like the street art is picking Chris' brain...}

{Ahhh a monster!!!}

{I took a close up of this one because, ironically, it was raining}

{Jennie and I were intrigued by this one. Look closely!}

{Did you look closely enough to see our mark on the street art??}

{an example of a street permit}

While in Melbourne we also ate a lot of Maccas (the only place with free wifi) and also had a vegan burger. It was so-so. We did have some amazing pizza.

{Chris and I sharing a Brekkie Box. While we were in Oz, we would see commercials for Maccas and they would say "Stop in to get a Brekkie Box to share with your mates". So, Chris and I shared multiple Brekkie Boxes! Here, Chris is reading an Australian Newspaper - I believe the Herald Sun}

We did lots of browsing through stores here, and even stopped in an opal store that would give a free opal if you showed your passport. They gave us a cute little kanagroo pin with an opal in it for free! It was also a museum so it was neat to walk through and see all the different kinds of opal.

Boone even got to walk a runway!!

After our first day there, we came back to the hotel to see this waiting on us...

Yes, this is an Australian Census!! Say what?? Apparently they do their census every five years and everyone does it on THE EXACT SAME NIGHT. Tuesday August 9th was the night. They have everyone who is in the country, at that time, fill one out. That includes all of the people staying in a hotel! Who knew?? So, we filled em out. It was interesting to do, it was about 50 questions long and had VERY detailed questions. What type of work you do, if someone lives in your home such as a parent, and how much assist they need from you. I was interested to see those questions as it made me wonder how the people there care for their elderly. Do they move them into big nursing homes, or is it more commonplace to have your parents move in with you, and you take care of them in the home? I was told it is much more common in some places to have your parents live with you and help with the daycare of your kids and you help take care of your parents. Interesting!

After eating lunch on one of the days we happened upon a cupcakery and stopped in for an indulgence.

{some of the kinds}

{um whoa. I can make that maxi cupcake for 15 bucks, and that includes the cost of buying the cake pan!!}

{Looks divine doesn't it?}

Before we knew it, it was time to head back to Sydney for our last hoorah. We had one final day to snag any last souvenirs and hang with Missy before heading home.

Sunday, October 23, 2011


The Paper Mama

The challenge this week at Paper Mama is Faces. I don't always plan to enter or participate, but I happened to snap a picture this past week of Camden in his fussy mood. He's finally cutting his two top teeth and it has been a bit of a rough go around here. Sleepless nights came back to visit and this time is was NOT because of the ears or any other sickness, so I know it was teeth!

Here is the shot.

Maybe it's my imagination but I swear I can see his lumpy gums under his lip. Poor guy.

Here are a few other pics that I considered using in the running....

This is the cute little face I get when he wants something. In fact, I took this shooting down towards my feet. The little munchkin has his arms wrapped around my legs and he usually begs to be picked up or fed whatever it may be that I am eating. I love that feeling of having a little one run to your legs and cling to them. Priceless.

I had a cute picture of Pearl too, but now I can't find it. I'll work on that.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Fourteen months.

I love this picture because you are staring ever-so-intently at your Daddy.

What a busy little boy you have become! Here are some of the things you are doing this month.

-You are talking more, still saying more, go, uh-oh and no. You will sign all done occasionally, especially when you want out of the highchair. You are saying "go go go" all the time. You will be walking around in circles saying "go go go!" or you will run to the door and yell loudly "GO!" because you want to go outside.

-Speaking of GO, you always want to be outside. All. The. Time. You ask constantly, and you are always moving. You still love your watering can and are enjoying actually being let out of the cart to go on walks.

-Your nasty ear infection is cleared, thank goodness. Your ear leaked a greenish-yellow color for a few days but once we started using the drops, all was well. Amazing!

-You are getting better at eating veggies. Not plain, but cooked in a stew or a soup we can usually manage to get some in you. Such a shame, because when you were younger you LOVED your veggies. You are still a fan of all things yogurt, and when you are on antibiotics I load you up on the yogurt and acidophilus. You will eat a packet of the organic Plum Baby veggie food that you squeeze yourself straight into your mouth. It is pretty handy and I'm just glad to get some veggies in you.

-You aren't much of one for holding still, but if I turn Mickey Mouse on you are sure to stop for a minute or two to watch the Hot Dog Dance. We don't go out to eat much anymore because getting you to hold still is nearly impossible. (Not to mention we aren't a fan of spending much on eating it's not all you, little man)

-You finally sprouted your third tooth. It's the top right, and it showed up on 10-6-11. I guess you will have more than two teeth after all! Number four is swollen, it won't be long!

-At daycare we had our fall round of parent/teacher conferences. Your teacher said for 13 going on 14 months you are right where you need to be. You are holding a spoon when eating (although not always using it). You are sleeping great on your cot when it's time to nap. You love group and singing time and love playing with the big toys - the houses, the tunnels to crawl through, and the slides. They mentioned that you LOVE art time! You are also cognitively developing well. They said you were one of the first of this new group to know what it means when they say it's time to eat. You were quick to run and sit in your chair and wait to be buckled in so you could eat! She said one of the sweetest things about you is that you will run up to the teachers for hugs, and you will dive into their laps and just hang out during group time. So cute! I'm glad you are doing so well there, it makes Mommy's heart happy that you are getting such a good curriculum and that you have the sweetest, most caring teachers I could imagine.

-You must have learned how to put on a coat at daycare. Now all we have to do is hold it out and you stick your arms in yourself. We swear it just happened over night!

-Your separation anxiety waxes and wanes. For a few weeks you would fight me to get down in the mornings so you could go play at daycare. You would push off my body with your hands and feet and it would be all I could do to keep you from jumping out of my arms to the ground. You didn't even look back as I would walk off. Then again in the last week or two you have been a pouting, crying mess. I'll hand you immediately over to one of the other girls and hear you bawling as I exit. Sometimes you'll just give a whimper and then it's over. At church they said they almost called your Daddy and I out of the service, it was that bad. For two weeks in a row too! I'm not sure why the sudden aversion, maybe their toys aren't like the ones you are used to at daycare or something. Who knows?

-Since your toe incident you are definitely wearing size 4 shoes. Onesies can be 12 months or larger, pants need to be 12-18 months range or larger. Your footy pajamas fit in 12 month but not for long. You are wearing a size 4 diaper during the day and a size 5 overnights at night.

-You eat well when you do eat. You get breakfast/lunch and two snacks a day at daycare. You get milk morning/night and with your meals at daycare. You love apple juice and water. We still have a few more of the frozen Mommy milk to go through.

-You had your first visit to the fair this month, you ran around just taking it all in. It was enjoyable for us all, and you came home and CRASHED. You also visited the pumpkin patch and didn't care for the pumpkins. It was all about the houses.

We love you little monkey and can't wait to watch you continue to grow. Slow down a little though, would ya?


I love taking pictures. It is no secret that one of my favorite gifts was the DSLR camera husband bought shortly after little C arrived. It arrived just a day after his birth. If he had waited until his due date, we would of had it for the big day.

When we first bought the camera we had no idea how to use it. We shot in the automatic modes, most often with a flash. The pictures were better with the higher quality camera, but still not great.

In February of this year, I took a class recommended by a friend, through a local public school. A cheap 40 dollar class that met for 4 sessions. Nothing major, and I was able to attend as it was a week night after work and for a short period of a couple hours at a time. This class taught me the basics of photography and how to shoot in manual modes. It also taught me how to have an eye for the composition in a photograph, and how to best use my camera and what lens to use to get the desired effects when I am taking pictures.

Now, by no means am I a professional. But I love taking pictures of our ornery little one and seeing just what shots I can capture. I mostly shoot in the manual modes anymore, and I am continually kept on my toes, as photographing a toddler that doesn't. hold. still. Can be quite challenging.

I have PLENTY of blurry-toddler-moving shots as I am still learning shutter speeds and apertures and what works best in certain situations. My photos are nowhere near the caliber of other mom-photog-hobby-ers, but I am proud of the photos I can achieve now. Looking back and comparing Camden's newborn pictures to ones I take today is a world of difference. I at least know enough of what I am doing to have some decent looking shots.

To keep myself challenged I like to enter little photography contests here and there, as I have time to take pictures and submit. Last week I entered a photo challenge on The Paper Mama, and the challenge was 'colorful'. Husband had dressed little C one day last week in a bright green onesie with bright plaid overalls. While we were outside playing after work I snapped a few shots. I was presently surprised to see this greet me one morning... FIFTH PLACE!!

You can click that link and look at the top five pictures, and see what I was up against. (Really, really good photographers!) And I actually MADE THE LIST!! Whooooo!! I looked back to see how many entries - there were about 40! It just feels good to have a photo I took be picked out of that many to make someones top five favorites. It's good for the self esteem. :)

The Paper Mama

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Oz: Part 6

We landed late in the evening in Melbourne, around 11pm. We were completely shocked by the temperature change, even though we sort of expecting it. We went from laying out in the sun tropical weather - upper 70s, to highs in the low 50s. Wake up call for sure! And random fact - You would think you pronounce it Mel-born but actually it is pronounced Mel-bin.

{Missy's pitiful sunburn before leaving Cairns. She was the worst of all of us!}

After landing we went through the taxi line and headed towards our hotel. I called it a hotel but technically it was just a fancier backpacker hotel. It was called The Space Hotel. Most of the rooms had to share a bathroom at the end of the hall, but we booked a room that had a bathroom in it.

{a shared kitchen area, one on each floor}

{a picture of our room}

{the other side of our room}

{the bathroom in our room! Small, but it did it's job!}

When we first walked into the room, we couldn't figure out how to turn on the lights. Finally after fumbling around in the dark we realized that you had to insert your room key into the light switch to turn on the lights and the air/heater. How smart!! That way when you leave, all the lights are automatically off. How green!

{The key keeping the lights on..}

It was a pretty hip and modern hostel, but we didn't stay in the hotel much, we were usually out and about.

Our first day there we spent most of the morning and early afternoon walking the Queen Victoria Market. The QVM is the country's largest open air market. There were all kinds of goods, from meats, cheeses, sandwiches and produce to clothes, and other handmade things. There really was a lot of neat stuff. I bought a pink jacket and I used my bargaining skills to talk the guy down in price, cause I'm hardcore like that. Then I told Jennie and Preston to bargain for their socks. They totally did, and Preston sort of got his socks thrown at him. That guy really didn't want to sell them for a dollar cheaper I guess!!

{some funny lamps}

{A funny shirt. In Australia a nappy is a diaper}

{an iPhone cover}

Besides all of the clothes and trinkets, they had a special produce and meat/sandwich area. You could buy anything from pastrami sandwich to wheatgrass shots to rieslings.

{no your eyes do not deceive you. Bananas really were 12 dollars a kilogram. Apparently they had a hurricane that effected their supply}

While here we wandered around the central part of Melbourne. This area has a free tram that you can hop on and off at any time and see the area. Melbourne was a completely different feel than Sydney. Melbourne had trams that you waited in the center median to catch. It seemed more laid back, the people seemed to be in less of a rush. It was definitely colder and the buildings had fancier architecture. There was a thing that they do there called a "hook turn". Basically because everything is backwards, but if you want to turn right, you pulled over to the left in front of the oncoming traffic and waited to turn right. It was definitely odd.

Hook turn pics to follow...
{the light is green - so they are pulled over to the left and waiting to turn right}

{yellow light...get ready!!}

{RED LIGHT!! Notice everyone turning right all at once? So odd!}

Here are some pictures from when we were wandering around...
{The Snows and their SNOWY water!!!}

{an interesting knife sharpener/holder thingy. Well the ketchup and mustard bottles are interesting too}

{meat pies are really big there. And Chris and I split a lil' one, it was really good!!}

{the free trolleys}

{part of the gorgeous St Paul's Cathedral}

{Flinder's Street Station. The architecture in Melbourne was unreal,,,} Here is wikipedia info about Flinder's Street station..."Flinders Street Station is a cultural icon to Melbourne, frequently used in imagery representing the city. The Melburnian idiom "I'll meet you under the clocks" referring to the row of clocks above the main entrance, which indicate the departure time of the next train on each line; another idiom "I'll meet you on the steps", refers to the wide staircase underneath these clocks. The area is a popular meeting place as it is at the intersection of two of the city's busiest thoroughfares. The station is listed on the Victorian Heritage Register." cool huh?

Boone wanted his picture made in front of the very busy Flinder's Street Station. So, despite the crowds we let him go ahead with the picture.
{setting up the shot}

{here come all the people!!}

{Traffic!! Be careful...}

{Ah! Watch out Boone!!! Just inches to spare...}

{He sure has a good smile, doesn't he?}

And this is Federation Square. Another wikipedia excerpt, "Federation Square (also colloquially known as Fed Square) is a civic centre and cultural precinct in the city of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.
It is a mixed-use development covering an area of 3.2 hectares and centred around two major public spaces, open squares (St. Paul's Court and The Square) and one covered (The Atrium,) built on top of a concrete deck above busy railway lines. It was opened in 2002.
Controversial since the demolition of the industrial buildings that preceded it, Federation Square is also globally famous for its alleged ugliness. In 2009, the Melbourne newspaper The Herald Sun reported that Federation Square is fifth on its list of eyesores, alongside a library in Kosovo, a television tower in Prague and New Zealand's 1970s-era parliament building."

{if you look to the left from this building and across the street - we saw the view in the picture below}

{A view of St Paul's Cathedral from St Paul's Court next to Federation Square}


{Allen's Candy Jar! So perfect!! Also, it was rainy - so excuse the hair! Curly hair with no dryer/diffuser is rough..}

Well, there were more Melbourne adventures but we will save that for part 7. Part 6 is long enough for now! Until next time...