True Love: The feeling when you first look in your child's eyes, the tiny little hand gripping your finger, and you can't imagine your life without him or her.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Awful, Horrible, No Good, Rotten Day

Let me start by saying: I'M EXHAUSTED!!! We had some major rain storms here last night. We live on a hill, so although there were all kinds of flood warnings & watches in our area, we don't really worry about that, even though it had been raining from about 9:30 pm until 6:00 am straight. I found out this morning that there were also some tornado warnings & watches issued @ 1:30 am as well. Since we do live on a hill, we almost constantly have some type of breeze, but usually a full-out wind. Last night went way beyond that. I honestly thought the house was going to blow down. It was insane. Add onto the the insane wind gusts, all of the crazy loud thunder claps, and you end up with a very scared & unable to sleep 4-year-old. She woke up a couple times with the thunder, and finally at 4:00 am, I just brought Xandra to bed with me. This child has not slept in our bed since she was 8 weeks old (I've been insistent that she stays in her bed no matter what because she beat the heck out of me when she was an infant!). It did work- she finally got back to sleep & stayed asleep until 6:30. Unfortunately, I had already been tossing & turning (both with the storm & the screaming child) for the entire night until she finally settled down, so I really only got maybe 3 or 4 hours of sleep. 

So, a not-so-great start to a Monday. I've gone on with my day with less sleep though... I'm a mom! I can do lots of things on little to no sleep! Then I went to take my Physics exam. . . . . I think my professor may have written the test in some new, as-of-yet undiscovered language. Or maybe I was transported out of my body on the 4,5,6 days that he went over the information he was testing on (I know I was physically in the class, but maybe I took the wrong notes???). Or maybe my teacher is just kind of mean (I'm thinking this is it... ). I was absolutely exhausted after the exam was over. And I'd worked myself up so much over it, that I had a stomach ache. 

A couple of my friends decided they'd like to study for our upcoming Anatomy test after school, so I asked my poor sick (wonderful!) husband to please pick up Xandra so I could do some extra studying. With his agreement, I set out to meet my friends at a local restaurant. I got to my car, opened the trunk to throw my book bag in, & closed it... with my keys inside. Now, supposedly, this should not be a problem because I have this handy dandy smart key that should never let me be able to do that. The trunk isn't supposed to be able to latch if the keys are in there.... WRONG!!! What a way to end the day!!!! I was so mad at myself- I felt so stupid. Thankfully, one of my friends had parked near me & offered to take me back to my house, grab the spare, & bring me back to school. Thank goodness for wonderful friends!! 

All I want to do right now is just go to bed. I still need to study for that darn A&P exam. But I think I'll just hold off on that until tomorrow. The exam isn't until Wednesday, so I have a little time to try to "catch up" on some sleep. With any luck at all, tomorrow will be a better day. *crossing my fingers!*

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Xandra Day & Photography

I feel as though I've been neglecting on my beautiful baby girl's updates. There has been so much on my mind lately... So I'm going to try to make up for it a bit today. 


Can you believe those eyes?? And eyelashes?? She obviously did not get those from me! I just love staring at these beautiful blue/gray eyes! They're like pools of water! I know I sound corny, but she's just so gorgeous!

And that smile! She's almost always in a good mood. She receives nothing but glowing reports from all of her teachers. They all have asked to babysit her (how often do you get that? Instead of us scrounging around trying to find a sitter, we have a pool of about 5 different people we have to choose from! She's just got such a magnetic personality. And she is such a good girl- we couldn't be any luckier with her. She makes it just too easy to be her parents!

This soccer ball beanbag... Daddy got this as a last-minute Christmas gift last year (2009). Xandra had just started expressing interest in anything soccer-related, so Daddy picked this out. For almost a full year, it just sat in our family room, basically unused. Then suddenly, about 3 or 4 months ago, both Daddy & Xandra began wanting to sit on it- all the time. Now they argue over who gets to use it, which almost always leads to a wrestling match! I think we're going to need another one soon...

Xandra & her big ole bag of Cheese-Its. Another love shared by Daddy. Shhhh- Daddy was sleeping when she stole his bag of chips, so he still doesn't know. :)

And finally, Xandra's baby dolls. She has about 10 or 12 of them, though most times it feels like at least 50 or more. The last few days, she has been giving them "stamps" using write on/wipe off markers. Xandra gets a stamp on her hands at school for doing well in language class (spanish & sign language). She hates when it's time to wash them off. So now all of her dolls are sporting some type of "stamp" & a few of them even have their toes "painted" with the markers. She's just so creative! I love how her mind works, though we are going to have to wash these stamps off soon, too. (I sure hope they'll come off!)

I've made a resolution of sorts, which I *never* do. I don't like resolutions because I always feel so bad when I fail & I always fail. But this one, I'm going to try my darndest! I've resolved to carry my camera with me more & take more pictures of our family. I love photos! I always have. When I was younger, I had the most incredible job working in a photography studio. I loved it! And that led me to start going to school at OIP&T (which is no longer in business) to become a photographer. Unfortunately, I was very young, and ended up quitting because I just couldn't understand any lighting concepts. I still enjoy taking pictures, but I always have such high standards (because I worked so long with the pros), I'm almost always disappointed with myself. Back when I was in school (before digital cameras), I would go through 3 or 4 film canisters to find 1 picture I was satisfied with. Thank God for digital, so I don't have to spend so much money any more on film!! 

What this long rant means, is there are a lot of times that I want to take photos, but I just don't because I've determined that I just won't be able to get *the shot* I want, so I don't even try. Dumb reasoning, I know. I really wanted to sign up for a photography seminar that's coming up to improve on my skills, but it was rather expensive and going on while I'm still in school. I'm already finding it a bit difficult to get in all of my needed studying for school, so Matt and I determined that it would be best to hold off on that for now. Maybe I can do it this summer, if they offer it again. 

There are a few bad parts to all of this: 
#1- I'm still not happy with my photos, especially of Xandra (whom is an incredible subject & usually very willing), though I know in my heart, that practice makes perfect.
#2-I'm supposed to take pictures for Matt's friend's wedding in early April. Yep, my first photography "job" (I'm not being paid). And I'm scared to death. The couple doesn't have much money, and would have no pictures at all if I didn't agree to do it. That's the only reason I agreed. Matt & the bride-to-be hounded me for weeks to get to do it. I'm still not looking forward to it...
#3-I'm going to have another gorgeous model soon, and his pictures will mean so much to me! I desperately want to take incredible, vivid pictures while we're in China. This opportunity will not come again & I don't want to mess it up! I want to take portrait-quality pictures that I can print out & frame up for our son. 

Friday, February 25, 2011


I saw little "Diana's" picture on a Love Without Boundaries post on Facebook the other day, and I fell in love. She's so precious. I talked Matt into sponsoring her in about 2 minutes. If you can find some spare change, please consider sponsoring her (or any other of the precious kids!).

This is her special need: "Diana came into this world under very difficult circumstances! She has bladder exstrophy, which essentially means that her bladder formed on the outside of her body. Her weight upon arrival was just 3.5 kg (7.7 pounds) at the age of 3 & 1/2 months. That is well below zero percent on growth charts, so the first thing we need to do is help this little one gain weight! When she is older and stronger, Diana will need a very complicated surgery that isn't even done in mainland China."

What I wouldn't give to be able to bring this little peanut home with us! I'll be keeping tabs on her!!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Walking to the Starting Line..

Things are finally starting to move a little quicker now with the adoption. I received a call from our agency today letting us know that all of our paperwork is in the US Consulate's hands as of today. The courier our agency uses in China will pick up the paperwork with the Consulate's approval on March 4th. She will promptly (we hope) deliver it to the CCAA & they will issue our TA. I asked for a rough estimate of our timeline at this point & was told we may be looking at receiving our TA around the end of March. AWESOME!! That gives us almost a month to find deals on tickets. :)

This week is finally almost completed! I'm so happy to have most of my exams over... for now. Of course, I have 2 more exams next week. Ugh. But, the week after is my spring break!! OH YEAH!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Another Approval!


This is our letter from the NVC (National Visa Center) letting us know Milo's petition for a visa has been forwarded to China! Now all we're waiting for is TA!! The travel countdown is on!! :)

Monday, February 21, 2011

Overwhelmed Much?

This is how I usually feel at school:
And this is how I usually feel at home:

Are we noticing a pattern here? If I haven't mentioned it before, this is my unofficial mid-term week. I say "unofficial" because the majority of my courses don't actually have midterm exams (actually only one of my classes has a scheduled midterm & final exam). It just so happens that this week, I have an exam of some type in every single course. I've managed the first 2 I took today pretty well. I got an A on one & a B on the other. But, the worst is yet to come. I have another on Wednesday that I'm not too worried about. It's the one on Thursday (an Anatomy Practical) and the one on Friday (a Physics exam) that have me scared out of my mind.

The Anatomy one is over the circulation system. I have to name various arteries and veins throughout the body on any number of models and/or charts, as well as on a cadaver. I also need to know the physiology of the heart inside & out (literally). And I need to be able to trace the blood flow from any given point in the body, through the heart & lungs, to another point in the body. I should feel a bit better about this because I've actually had an additional week and a half to study for it because it was pushed back due to the ice/snow storms we had a couple weeks back. Did I take advantage of that extra studying time? Not really. I haven't fully neglected my time - I did look over things a few times, but I'm still not feeling all that confident. And I *really* need to do well on this to pull my overall grade up.

They Physics exam is another story. There really isn't an easy way to study for that. Thankfully, my teacher allows us to use one 8.5x11 piece of paper filled with any type of notes, formulas, & example problems that we can fit onto it. But what to put on that paper?? Hmmmm... You just never know what will come in handy. I managed to pull an A on my last exam, so now it kind of feels like a standard has been set. I'd love to keep my A average in Physics, cause it makes me feel smart. :) It's something I feel really good about- especially when I find out that my wonderful husband has been bragging about me to my family behind my back. Love that man! I'm secretly scared that first exam was just a fluke & I'll never be able to pull it off again. I guess we'll see...

On top of all of the pressure this week, my baby girl is still sick. She's not sick enough to stay home from school (i.e. she doesn't have a fever any more), but she's still miserable. Her teacher started texting me while I was in my Physics lecture today, telling me that Xandra was asking to go home. Knife through my heart. What I wouldn't have given to be able to leave to go get her right then. But I couldn't. Not this week. I forwarded the message on to Matt, but he couldn't get her either (he had some appointments scheduled today). Instead, Xandra's incredible teacher apparently cuddled her most of the day. Xandra appears to be one of the favorites among the teachers at her school. I love that she's so loved. Thank God for that place! I'm never worried about her when she's there (& that's saying a lot cause I constantly worry about her).

And it now appears that Matt may be coming down with something as well. I don't have time for this! It already breaks my heart when I come home & Xandra desperately wants me to play with her, and I have to tell her no. Especially when she's sick. All I want to do is make her happy & feel better. But, I have to get that homework & studying done. I try really hard to get her to play with daddy (though mommy is still the 1st choice), and now he doesn't feel up to playing. Grrr! Not enough hours in the day!!!

The one shining light is that I only have 2 weeks left until spring break! WOOO!! Of course, my spring break is quickly being packed in with various appointments & catching up with "little things" that have been pushed back until I have time. I suppose this is the new life that I lead. God help me when we have 2 kids! I really need to get on top of my organizational skills!! Let me know if any of you out there have any tips or ideas!! I'm all ears!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Night Out

Matt & I got one of our somewhat rare nights out last night with some of our best friends & family. We went to a local bar (read "hole in the wall, redneck bar") where Matt's cousin Wade likes to sing occasionally. The video is of Matt dancing (which he *never* does) with Wade's sister Jennifer.

We had a really good time. We left Xandra home with our best friends' daughter babysitting. I had debated all day long whether we would really be able to go out because Xandra had been up almost the entire night before. She's got a lot of sinus drainage, which has led to a nasty cough. I took her to her FCC play group earlier in the morning, and ended up leaving pretty quickly because she was just not feeling well. We decided to go ahead & go out because toward the end of the afternoon she was playing like normal. I suppose we probably made the wrong decision, though I'm not sure. It's so hard to tell if she's really, truly sick or if she's being mellow-dramatic, as she tends to be.

At any rate, we're paying a bit today for having gone out last night. Xandra went to bed @ 1:00 am (yes, that late)and got up at 4 am. She had one heck of a fit, just screaming about how much she loved me & daddy (???). I was starting to lose my temper because it just didn't make sense what was happening with her, until I touched her. She had a fever. I figure she was just so tired & feeling so crummy, she kind of lost it a bit. We got some motrine in her, and she settled down almost instantly.

Xandra is already sick, and I'm getting there. I realize the weather isn't interesting to most people, but it's just been insane here. This past Friday (only 2 days ago!), I wore a tee-shirt to school. It was almost 70 degrees! Today, it sleeted & snowed. What the heck?? I really do not like Ohio. I've been saying it for as long as I can remember... I can't wait to get the opportunity to get the heck out of here!!!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

SPRING & Eating my Words

Our dog Lexie, perched on the arm of our couch (her favorite spot), so she can soak up the sun (she's kind of a solar dog)

Why, is that sun I see in that picture?! Today was the first day of the year that we hit decent temperatures- above 60!! Spring is on its way!! Matt noticed yesterday that the sun was actually still up at 6:00 pm! We haven't seen that in what feels like forever - the new Daylight Savings schedule really sucks in that aspect.

Eating my Words
Ok, a few posts back I complained about my jack-in-the-box daughter who continually pops up at night. Yes, I do still find this a rather annoying habit. But last night when I heard her stirring in the middle of the night, I went in to check (she was whimpering & she's prone to having bad dreams). So, I walked into her room & this is what happened:
"Are you okay, honey?"
Her reply was, "Mooommmmy...hhhmmmmuuuhhhhhdddddddddmmmmmmm."
"Sweety, are you alright? Cause you're not using real words."
"Mooommmmmmm... Iiiii..."
"Ok, let me tuck you back in. Love you! Night!!"
She was apparently still asleep. It was beyond adorable. I've been having a hard time recently realizing how much she's growing up. And I mean that literally - she's insanely tall! But she's also doing so much more on her own- becoming so independent. It's good, I know. But kind of bittersweet for me. I miss my baby.

I never thought we'd get out of the infant stage, and we had a difficult time with her. Her first year and a half, she had crazy reflux - it seemed that all she would do was eat, vomit, eat, vomit, eat, sleep, pee, & repeat. For every 1 bottle a "normal" baby would have (yes, she was a bottle-baby.. we tried really hard, but breast feeding just never worked for us), Xandra would need at least 2 or 3. She wasn't diagnosed with reflux until she was 6 months old, though I knew there was a problem way before that (the darn doctor just wouldn't listen to me). I was so happy when she finally began eating & keeping it down. Of course, by then she was walking & a whole new set of problems began. It was a pretty miserable time while we were living it day in & day out.

Of course, now I look back on it, and miss being able to cuddle with my baby & spend so much time with her. She doesn't want me to do that any more. She only wants me when she needs a snack. At least it feels that way at times. She does run to me when she gets hurt, or feels some injustice has happened to her. But now, she just comes to me for reassurance, and quickly runs off to find her new favorite toy of the moment. It's good... but it hurts my heart a little. She's becoming a little lady.

Well, this post has gone way off track! I didn't intend to write about any of that tonight... :) Oh well, I tend to ramble.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Rock Star!

Xandra & I were rocking out this morning as we got ready to go run a few errands. I poked my head out of the bathroom to find her dancing & singing! She cracks me up with her big personality!! As aggravating as she can be... she's the sunshine in my life!

It's been a crazy week (again). School is taking over my life, as I knew it would. There just aren't enough hours in the day... I really miss being able to give 100% attention to Xandra & Matt. I'm only partially involved these days, with most of my brain revolving around what assignment is due next & which test I need to study for. Matt has been wonderful in taking on so much more responsibility. I could not have done this without him!

We did have some good news yesterday on the adoption front: we got our I-800 Provisional Approval!! :D Yaaa!! For those not in the adoption world, that means immigration has approved Milo to come home with us! They will be sending a copy of the approval on to the National Visa Center (NVC), who will also approve this. Our case worker has sent all of our approved paperwork on to the US Consulate in China. They won't look at the paperwork until they receive a copy of the NVC's approval, which we'll be able to email once it arrives. From there, the US Consulate sends it over to the CCAI (Chinese government) who will give us Travel Approval (TA). That's the final step. Once we have Travel Approval, we make an appointment with the US Consulate to take an oath (which is actually the last thing we'll do while in China, before we can all come home). With that appointment date set, we will be free to make our travel plans! All in all, using our case worker's approximate time lines, we're figuring on having our TA by mid-April. That works out perfectly to travel in early May!! Just a few more months & I'll be holding my son in my arms!!

Now I'm started to really think about what we'll need to take with us to China! Bring on the To-Do Lists!!! :)

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

POP! Goes the Weasel! Oh wait...

My child.. my precious, beautiful, enchanting little girl... ahhhh. My wonderful little girl has become a jack-in-the-box. We put her to bed, she pops back up. We tuck her in again... POP! We get her some water... POP! We take her to potty... POP! We rub her feet because she insists they hurt & she can't possibly sleep in so much pain... POP!!

I went out with a friend last night to study for a very big Anatomy test I had today. I left when Matt was headed up the stairs with Xandra to get ready for bed - @ 8:00. I had a great time, and pulled back in the driveway 2 hours later feeling pretty confident about the upcoming test. I walked in the front door... and found my cute little manipulative daughter sitting on the couch in the family room watching tv. My husband was in an adjoining room, playing a video game. I immediately asked him if he was aware she was up. Yes, he was... apparently she had cried, and desperately wanted/needed another hug & kiss from mommy before she could possibly think about going back to bed. Daddy insisted I go easy on her... after all, she had cried. I guess in those 2 hours, daddy let miss Xandra play with her B*arbies for a while before he allowed her to come down & watch tv.

So tonight, we had a similar situation except this time, Matt left as I was getting ready to put Xandra to bed. One would think that at this point in her life, Xandra would know who is the stricter parent. Apparently, that little tidbit has slipped right past her. She tried to play the same game with me as she did with daddy. A full 10 minutes after I tucked her in she popped back up to let me know that she needed to potty (don't worry about having gone just 10 minutes before). Since she knows how to go potty all by herself during the day, this should not be an issue for her to go by herself at night... right? WRONG! We get through all of that... with Xandra letting me know that she would be telling daddy on me for being mad at her. I tuck her in a 2nd time. I come back downstairs to get started on my homework, and @ 30 minutes later, Matt came home. I suddenly heard movement upstairs, and turned around to find Xandra on the staircase begging daddy for a "squeeze." Matt took her back up & tucked her in... again. Not too long after, Matt decided to go to bed. Unfortunately, I still had some homework to do, so I stayed up.

About 5 minutes later, I hear a little person talking... I go up again. This time, she was sitting right outside our bedroom (where my loving husband was watching tv), talking up a storm. When she caught sight of me, she immediately came up with her story- she had to get her doggy toy that she accidentally left outside our room 2 weeks ago, and then she had to get a drink of water.... 'why are you mad at me mommy?'

I feel like I'm taking crazy pills!!!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

FCC Chinese New Year

Dragon 2-11

The Dragon that led the kids' parade

Xandra Chinese NY 2-11
Xandra got a *little* overwhelmed with all the noise-makers at the end!

Danielle (left) & Kieren (right) - some of our friends from our FCC group

We had a great time at the Chinese New Year Celebration last night!! Unfortunately, my camera decided to get an attitude with me (as well as Xandra), so I didn't get as many pictures as I wanted.

We had debated up until the last minute whether we would be able to go to the event, because the weather was awful! It was combo-snowing/sleeting as we drove the 40 minutes to get to the party. Matt was initially not thrilled about going. I think he was just really worried about the streets getting bad. And I'd had to wake Xandra a little early from her nap so we could leave early enough to compensate for the bad roads. So, I was the only one really excited to be going...

It took a while to get into the mood of the evening (cranky kid, and somewhat cranky husband). But as soon as the food was (*finally!*) served, we had a great time! Matt & I haven't had Chinese food for quite some time & Xandra's never had it before. (Quick back story: Matt & I had Chinese food on New Year's a number of years back, and we both came down with either a stomach bug or food poisoning the next day. Chinese food does not taste good coming out the wrong way... ) It was really good food, although Xandra pretty much only ate noodles & a couple bites of chicken & broccoli (pretty good for her!).

The best part of the evening was the tail end- the children's parade with the Dragon! We'd had to almost hold Xandra in her seat most of the evening - she was dying to go running around the "ballroom" like she was seeing other kids doing. Too bad for her, her parents are strict. We didn't want her to get into or cause any trouble. But when it was time for the children's parade, that's exactly what she was finally able to do. She was really happy, but got a slight bit overwhelmed with the loud noise-makers. She kept running back to me yelling to me that it was too loud in there! :)

Matt couldn't stop commenting for most of the night (& even today) about how absolutely beautiful all the kids were. He kept looking around & turning to me saying "There's not one child here I wouldn't snatch up in a heartbeat. They're all so beautiful!" I couldn't agree more! It was like a "Cute-ness Overload!"

Matt & I have ever-so-briefly touched on wanting to adopt again in the future. I admitted to him last night that I really want to get a sister for Xandra. Obviously, we need to complete Milo's adoption first. And we both need to complete our education & get on track with our new careers, but then I really want to do this again! We would most definitely choose a different agency to go through, but I'm actually looking forward to everything falling in place, and going again!

Saturday, February 5, 2011


DSC_0001 2

I don't think winter is ever going away! That darn groundhog predicted a couple days ago that we would have an early spring... HA!! Another winter weather advisory for today... from 6 am - 6 pm... snow & ice coming down. GRRRR!!!

Stay warm everyone! We're still planning on going to the Chinese New Year celebration later today. I'm hoping to be able to post again tonight or tomorrow with some pics from the event.

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Thursday, February 3, 2011


It's officially the year of the Rabbit! We will be celebrating this Saturday with our friends from our local FCC (Families with Children from China). I'll post pictures this weekend from the celebration. This is obviously our first year celebrating, so I'm not real sure what to expect.

Here is the zodiac for people born in the year of the Rabbit:

People born in the Year of the Rabbit are articulate, talented, and ambitious. They are virtuous, reserved, and have excellent taste. Rabbit people are admired, trusted, and are often financially lucky. They are fond of gossip but are tactful and generally kind. Rabbit people seldom lose their temper. They are clever at business and being conscientious, never back out of a contract. They would make good gamblers for they have the uncanny gift of choosing the right thing. However, they seldom gamble, as they are conservative and wise. They are most compatible with those born in the years of the Sheep, Pig, and Dog.

I happen to be born in the year of the Snake:
People born in the Year of the Snake are deep. They say little and possess great wisdom. They never have to worry about money; they are financially fortunate. Snake people are often quite vain, selfish, and a bit stingy. Yet they have tremendous sympathy for others and try to help those less fortunate. Snake people tend to overdo, since they have doubts about other people's judgment and prefer to rely on themselves. They are determined in whatever they do and hate to fail. Although calm on the surface, they are intense and passionate. Snake people are usually good-looking and sometimes have marital problems because they are fickle. They are most compatible with the Ox and Rooster.

Matt was born in the year of the Tiger:
Tiger people are sensitive, given to deep thinking, capable of great sympathy. They can be extremely short-tempered, however. Other people have great respect for them, but sometimes tiger people come into conflict with older people or those in authority. Sometimes Tiger people cannot make up their minds, which can result in a poor, hasty decision or a sound decision arrived at too late. They are suspicious of others, but they are courageous and powerful. Tigers are most compatible with Horses, Dragons, and Dogs

Xandra was born in the year of the Dog:
People born in the Year of the Dog possess the best traits of human nature. They have a deep sense of loyalty, are honest, and inspire other people¡¦s confidence because they know how to keep secrets. But Dog People are somewhat selfish, terribly stubborn, and eccentric. They care little for wealth, yet somehow always seem to have money. They can be cold emotionally and sometimes distant at parties. They can find fault with many things and are noted for their sharp tongues. Dog people make good leaders. They are compatible with those born in the Years of the Horse, Tiger, and Rabbit.

And finally, Milo was born in the year of the Ox:
People born in the Year of the Ox are patient, speak little, and inspire confidence in others. They tend, however, to be eccentric, and bigoted, and they anger easily. They have fierce tempers and although they speak little, when they do they are quite eloquent. Ox people are mentally and physically alert. Generally easy-going, they can be remarkably stubborn, and they hate to fail or be opposed. They are most compatible with Snake, Rooster, and Rat people.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Snow Day, Round 2

As if the ice storm wasn't bad enough yesterday... Overnight we had wind gusts @ 50 mph. It did dry up the ice, but now we've got snow falling. And tonight, they're calling for more sleet, freezing rain, and wind. Grrr!! I *really* do not like cold weather!

So, we've been stuck at home again today. I know it's only been 2 days, but I think we're all going stir-crazy. I decided to move all of Xandra's B*arbie's to the Rec Room at the top of our stairs. We've never used that room as a "Rec Room." We threw a cute love seat & chair up there a few years ago. We used to have a tv in there, but moved it out when Xandra was born (anything to keep the baby asleep!). So, it became a pass-through area.

Some may recall a few posts ago, when I posted the picture of B*arbie madness in our front room. Well, now it's moved upstairs:
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As much as I don't like this, I think it's still better than before when everything was in our "entertaining" area. So, now our front room looks like this:
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I really wanted all of the toys to be moved upstairs- that was my original plan. But I neglected to fully realize just how many toys Xandra has, and just how large some of them are (see kitchen set). I know a lot of families tend to put the kids' toys in the kids' rooms. I'm not that person. We still use Xandra's room as her "calming down" area when she has a tantrum. So, I don't want her to have a bunch of toys to play with while she's contemplating what she's done wrong. We may need to rework some things when Milo comes home- we may even need to get rid of some toys (trust me, I've already been contemplating that one for a while!). We'll see how things go with our new setup for now.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

ICE Day!


Some of the accumulated ICE on our deck. All plans called off due to ICE! After yesterday's post (so full of self-pity!), I figured this was actually a wonderful change of events. This gives me an entire day to study for my upcoming tests (if I could only get myself off the computer!!).

I discovered a new blog, and Lisa (the mom, writer, & photographer of the blog) has just inspired me! She's incredible with a camera - although she's got incredible subjects! Her kids are more than beautiful! I'm going to try to get in touch with her once I've caught up on her blog (I'm one who thoroughly enjoys reading from beginning to end). I've read about a year & a half's worth of her 3 year's long blog, in about 3 days. I love it!

I'm really happy I found her, because I'm supposed to photograph a wedding this spring, and I'm beyond nervous. Lisa has actually started her own small photography business just because she loves to do it & wanted to share her talents. I wish I was that brave. I even went to school for photography, but dropped out because I just couldn't get the hang of the technical aspect (lighting mostly). And I never really learned how to edit and adjust my digital pictures because that really wasn't around while I was in school. I've asked Matt about taking a low-key (read: not technical) class on Photoshop or some other photo program. Now if I could just fit it into my insane schedule!!

I was really hoping to get to school today to study some of the models I'll be tested on in Anatomy, but the pictures I've got of them will just have to do today. I'm going to go bury myself in books & papers in a few minutes - hidden away in my room probably. I'm half trying to hide myself away from Xandra- she always wants just me when I'm home. Daddy's here too, but much to his disappointment, she continues to be a "mama's girl."

I've been playing with some of the features on Flickr - what do you think? Too much?
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