Friday, July 22, 2011

Swing away

Thanks to a combination of luck and timing and generous grandparents Elle now has her own playset in the backyard.  This is pretty much the greatest thing that Elle has going on in her life right now.  She loves that playset.  It's got two swings, a glider, a slide, monkey bars and a play area covered by a canopy.
By far her favorite part of the playset is the swings.  The day after we got the playset put together she woke me up at six in the morning asking if she could go swinging.  She doesn't care how hot it is outside, she'll go out at all hours of the day and swing, swing, swing.  She comes in every so often for a new coating of sunscreen and to cool off but then she's right back out there again.

She likes to swing with her eyes shut.  Sometimes I'll be out working in the garden and I can hear the rhythmic "squeak, squeak, squeak" of the swingest and then her little voice joining in to sing to go with the rhythm.  Yesterday I heard her singing "Bad Romance".  I held my hand over my mouth to stifle my laugh.  She didn't notice me watching her.  Her eyes were screwed tightly shut.  Her hair was coming loose from her pony tail and blowing around her face.  Her long legs moved forward and backwards in time.  Suddenly she cried "I'm swinging higher than I ever dreamed possible!"

Swing away baby.  Swing away.

Three years ago today I had a blogging problem.
Four years ago today I reviewed Harry Potter. Sorta.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Sliding into manual mode

I have been struggling and stressing and fighting to understand the manual mode on my camera for a while now. The fact it, it all just sounds too much like math to me.  I feel like I almost have a grip on the concept but then it just slips out of my hands and I'm back where I started from.

For some reason though something clicked for me yesterday.  All of the sudden it started making sense.  Oh don't get me wrong, I still have a lot to learn and I need a ton of practice but it feels so empowering to be able to turn the little dial from A to M on my camera.

Yesterday I took a few pictures of Elle using only the manual setting and I was pretty pleased with the results. (You can see them here but be aware blogger reduces photo quality something fierce.)  I have learned two things about shooting in manual:

1) I CAN do it and it's not nearly as scary as it seems at first.

2) I really need a pedicure done by someone other than a five year old.

One year ago today I played in the ocean with my kids.
Four years ago today I wrote a post about body image and MTV that to this day gets tons of traffic.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

A totally random story

When we went to California last year we spent a day at the San Diego zoo.  It must have been the annual "Weird Guys Get In Free" day because every five minutes Jesse and I were having to look at each other with eyes that seemed to say "Oh my god, did you see what that guy just did?!?"

There was a family reading the bible as they walked from exhibit to exhibit. ("Look children!  These are the wild boars.  These are one of five animals mentioned by name in the bible.  Oh look!  I opened my bible to exactly the right page!  What a blessing!*  Let's read shall we?)  There was a guy who kept trying to introduce the animals to his daughter. (Koala!  Koala!  Look over here koala!  This is Ella!  Say hi to Ella!  Koala! Look over here at Ella!  Look koala!  Ella!")  There was the guy who tried to imitate animal noises and when he got the the kangaroos he yelled "HOP HOP HOP HOP HOP HOP HOP HOP HOP" until a zoo keeper came out and told him to stop.

The weirdest though was a guy standing next to me looking at the lions.  There was a whole crowd gathered around because a lioness was right up against the glass and everyone was trying to look at her.  The guy next to me did this non-stop running monologue that went something like this: "WOW!  Look at that!  Would you just look at that beautiful bitch lion!  What a gorgeous bitch! I've never seen a bitch lion this close before!  How amazing!  The bitch lions never come this close to the glass!  It's so rare to see the bitch lions like this!  What a beautiful bitch she is!"

He said it enough that I started to question if maybe I was wrong in thinking a female lion was called a lioness so I pulled out my phone and googled "is a female lion called a bitch" and then the internet said "it's a lioness dumbass" and I felt stupid.  But not as stupid as the guy calling the lioness a "bitch lion".

Bitch, please. 

*I think it was less a blessing and more of the fact that the had a bookmark holding his place.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Facebook is so gay

To really understand the beauty of this story you have to understand Joseph.  I have raised him to be open and accepting and there is not a single part of him that is hateful or judgmental.  What he said in this story was not a joke.  It was an an honest attempt to answer his own question and figure out one of the touchier points of social interactions. 

"How do you know if someone is gay?" Joseph asked me.

"Hmmmm..." I responded, stalling for time as I tried to best form an answer he would understand.

He continued.  "I know that if like two men or two women are married then they're gay but how can you tell if you just met them?"

"Well buddy, there are maybe a few things that might give you a clue someone is gay but every person is different and -" I started but then he cut me off.

"Could you look them up on facebook?" he asked.  "Like if you looked up Bob and it said 'spouse - John' then you would know he was gay?"

I choked back a laugh. "Yes, I suppose that would do it."

Joseph continued.  "And you could look at their status updates?  Maybe it would say something like 'Bob is bein' gay!" or "Bob is gaying like no one has ever gayed before!' then you would know they were gay?"

On one hand I am a little disturbed by how well Joseph understands how facebook works.  On the other hand, I kind of want to get "Bob is bein' gay!" printed onto a t-shirt. 

One year ago today I went to New York.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Almost like a business plan

So, um, I started a business.  Kinda.

In this modern age with the facebook and the twitter and the google+ all one really needs to do to start a business is log onto their social network of choice and declare "I HAVE STARTED A BUSINESS!"*

So a couple of days ago I logged onto facebook and declared that I am now a business owner.  Then I curled up in a ball and spent the day trying not to vomit and thinking maybe I should call the whole thing off.

You see, I feel like saying "Please like my business and perhaps choose to utilize my services" feels a lot like I'm saying "Here's my heart!  Feel free to stomp all over it and mock me!"  I tend to take things a little personally.

But, if I don't challenge myself and I don't take chances then I am never going to grow.  And I do want to grow.  And grow in new and exciting ways that don't involve my ass.  So please, if you are so inclined please check out my new project Heartland Photography and maybe click the "like" button or repost or retweet or whatever it is the young people are doing these days.  I'm just starting out and fumbling my way through this but I love photography and I think I have some fun, original ideas on how to make this business work and the support of my bloggy buddies means the world to me.

Thank you to the moon and back.

*That makes me think of The Office when Michael stands in the middle of the office and yells "I declare ... BANKRUPTCY" which was one of the funnier moments ever on the show and now I can't hear the word "bankruptcy" without thinking of it.

Three years ago today I tracked the Wild Asshat.
Four years ago I was a germaphobe.  Ahahahahaha.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Not babies any more

Yesterday Elle lost her second tooth.  She was brushing her teeth and she felt something fall out of her mouth but she thought it was a drop of water.  When she came to me so I could check her teeth over I said "Oh Elle!  Where's your tooth?" and calm as could be she walked back to the bathroom, picked the tooth up off of the floor and said "I knew I dropped something."
No big deal, no drama.  Just "Oh yeah, this piece of proof of my babyhood just feel out onto the bathroom floor.  Whatever."  She's really not a baby any more.

Joseph turned 11 this past weekend.  He's firmly settled into the teen years now and he's got the attitude and the first tiny pimple to prove it.  He's trying so hard to be independent.  At least he thinks he is.  He told me the other day that he doesn't have to listen to me any more because he's independent and when you're independent you only do what you want to do and could I please make him some lunch?  I guess he's not yet old enough to have figured out the concept of irony.
So grown up!  My babies aren't babies any more!  They're like little adults.

On the other hand.... Yesterday I was upstairs and I heard a loud thump come from the downstairs family room.  Before I could ask what was wrong Elle yelled up "It's ok Mama!  I jumped off the furniture and I didn't get hurt ... much.  I just think I broke my leg bone just a little bit! I'll shake it off and take two or maybe three deep breaths."

Later the same day Joseph and I were discussing how we had run into a friend of his from school at the grocery store. He said "I like her.  She's nice and she always has interesting things to talk about.  She knows a lot of stuff and she can talk to people about anything.  It's nice to have a person like that in your group of friends because she makes everyone in the group feel more comfortable."  And as I'm thinking how impressive it is that my Aspie is making such great, astute observations he finishes off with "I don't like her new haircut through.  It makes her look like a pharmacist."

Maybe not all the way grown up yet.

Two years ago today I got pissy about cake.
Four years ago people asked stupid questions about adoption.