Friday, July 31, 2009

Learning About My Camera

I was able to get my camera replaced. If you remember, my wonderful husband gave me a new one for my birthday. Two weeks after that I took it to Ohio for my family reunion. About an hour into it, it stopped working. Completely stopped. My cousin, Holly, had that particular model for a couple years and took a look at it. I assumed I had done something to it. No, she said, it is just broken. I took it back to Best Buy and they replaced it with no problem.

So, I'm back to taking tons of pictures of the kids, dogs and yard. I'm learning about the camera and about editing as well. While I'm learning about the more advanced programs like and gimp, I'm using a simple one for day to day editing.

Earlier in the week, we had a nice rain storm and I had been looking at a lot of photography online and getting ideas about editing, subject matter, unusual methods as well as composition. There were several pictures out there of single drops of water. One had a reflection in it and another photo managed to catch one popping. It gave me the idea to take pictures of raindrops after our storm.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Cincinnati Zoo

While in Cincinnati, we went to the zoo. It's not just any kind of zoo; it's a zoo and botanical garden. It's really something to see. While there, we got caught in a downpour, saw lions, baby tigers, rhinos, bears, giraffes, manatees and bugs. This bug is a dead leaf bug. As in it looks like a dead leaf.

Stasiu and Pops (my dad) had a great time there. I think Pop's enthusiasm was exceeded only by that of a five year old.

There were also the most beautiful peacocks roaming around the entire zoo.
Remember the botanical garden part I mentioned? I thought this decorative grass with all the colors was just beautiful.
On our way out, there was a zoo keeper holding a scarlet hawk. She had her on her arm and stood there with her and answered everyone's questions about her. I thought she was beautiful.

If you find yourself in or near Cincinnati, you need to visit this zoo. It's not just for kids.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

I'm Going to Start an Ambulance Service

In the last six weeks, I've made 5 ER runs. The first was in the beginning of June for Stasiu's first set of stitches. Good thing he did that, because he prepared me for the following weeks.

On the very next day, I took my good friend, Molly to the ER for what turned out to be a stomach virus.

And, of course there is the concussion two weeks ago. A week later, I took my mom in for severe hand pain which turned out to be either lupus or carpal tunnel.

Now, the baby is getting in on the act. He jumped off the subwoofer and hit his chin on a toy. We didn't even realize how bad he cut his chin until he walked past me bleeding. He cried for a few minutes then noticed that daddy had a yummy lunch and got distracted. We got lucky. The slice started healing up on his pudgy little chin and the doctor ( who was the same one with my mom, by the way) decided to use steri-strips so I can keep it clean.

My mom's parting words as I went to the ER? "Get used to it." Thanks, mom.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Cincinnati Aquarium

We did do other things in Ohio besides go to the emergency room. We actually did touristy things too ( although for some the ER may be touristy). On one of the days, we met my cousin Dana and her beautiful daughter, Grace and went to the Aquarium. The aquarium isn't actually in Cincinnati; it's in Kentucky.

The kids loved it. There were sharks, jellyfish, turtles, gators and all sorts of creatures.

This is a poison dart frog. I just liked the picture.

Beautiful Grace at Johnny Rocket's after the aquarium. One of the fun things about the restaurant is that for some songs that come on (in our case Respect, by Aretha Franklin), the music gets turned up and the entire staff dances-even by the grills.

My son got to "pet" a crab.

The kids played in a mister out on the boardwalk.

The Cincinnati skyline from Kentucky.
Yeah, I may be biased--but aren't they sweet?

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Meet Phoebe

I haven't been listing, editing pictures from my Ohio trip with Stas, twittering or blogging. I have a good excuse, I swear!

Her name is Phoebe and she is 2 months old. We adopted her form our local Humane Society a few days ago. She is part Boxer and something and all cute.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Concussion Boy Strikes Again

My oldest and I were in Ohio last weekend for a family reunion. We went to see family that I hadn't seen since I was a kid. While there, Stasiu made fast friends with all the other kids there and was on the swingset, playing with the dogs and in the tree house.

We told the kids several times to close the trap door so no one would fall out. Well, true to kid's nature, someone forgot. True to Stas's nature, he didn't realize it and backed into it and fell out of the tree house. About 8 feet.

I wasn't there, but my brother was and took him to Gary who is (thank goodness) a pediatrician. Stas managed to not even break a bone or scratch himself up too much. A minor miracle for him. We thought he was fine. He was a little whiney--but I think that's because he got the scare of his life.

About an hour later, he got sick. Gary took a look at him and said it's time for the ER trip. Gary called the ER to let them know we were comming and to order tests, my brother drove while I sat in the back with Stas. Thankfully, the ER was about 5 minutes away.

The triage nurse said we'd be seen when it was our turn and I was fine with that. Then Stas got sick again. She grabbed him and my brother and took him back. The ER doctor had already heard from Gary, saw Stas and ordered an x-ray and some anti-nausea medicine. All this before I finished registering him. Thankfully, there were no broken bones and the cat scan showed no internal bleeding. It was a concussion.

A few hours later, the nurse brought Stas a popsicle which he ate with enthusiasm.

The doctor had us wait a little to make sure the vomiting was over then discharged us and gave us permission to drive home the next day. By Monday, Stasiu was jumping off couches and playing in the backyard like nothing happened.

His local pediatrician wanted to see him and said angels must have caught him for him to take a fall like that and not get hurt worse than he was.

Thankfully, we had about 40 relatives there willing to drop everything and help. Holly, Gary's wife offered to take us. Gary called and took care of things. Aunt Patti cleaned up the mess after Stas got sick. Aunt Joyce kept tabs on us so everyone would know what was going on. Uncle Rob drove us to the hospital and stayed the entire time-then took us back to the hotel.

We were far from home, but never alone with all the family supporting us. I was very thankful for that.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Wow! Cards.

I have cards to post--can you believe it? My wonderful husband gave me time on Monday to get these finished before my oldest and I left for Cincinnati.

This is for my Secret Sister, Angie. I'm in an online local online group of paper crafters and we did a three month secret sister exchange. On the 15th the girls met for the reveal and we were to make a card to give our identities. This was for mine.

My Dad's wife will have a birthday next week. Since we are seeing her in Cincinnati, we brought a blue and white bowl for her to go with her collection and I made this card for her. She likes to garden and I thought she would enjoy this one.

My aunt's 87th birthday is the same day as my step mother's. We will be with her on Saturday for a family reunion. I wanted to give her a card from us when we saw her and I thought she would like this sweet mouse.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Asheville-Birthday Continuation

Remember how I said I'd do better keeping up with my blog. Uh-yeah. It's been a week. Okey dokey.

Over last weekend, Chris took me to Asheville for a continuation of my birthday. Nice husband, huh? You bet! On our first day, we went back to the Biltmore and did a behind the scenes tour. It was so fun! There was a group of about a dozen of us and the tour guide took us to areas that aren't on the main tour. We also had a great tour guide with a lot of fun information about the house and the family.

This is a koi pond just outside the house. I love the reflection of the sun in the pond.

Wok stays at our house and takes care of the kids. Last time, we bought her a chicken. We decided to continue the tradition. This is Chris holding our purchase and wearing a goofy hat. No, he did not buy the hat.

Chris took this of the beetle on the flower. He did a great job, didn't he?

I have no idea what this flower is but thought it was cool looking.

There were tons of bees pollinating while we were there. They were all over the flower gardens.

After we hit downtown Asheville, we came across an impromptu drum group. There seemed to be a total of about 9 people with drums. It was great! The crowd dancing near them just got bigger and bigger. There were people that brought their kids and were dancing with them. It was really fun!

I've got more Asheville pictures then pictures from our Cincinnati trip-which is where I am now!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Hurricane Lauren

Yesterday my friend Molly came by with her daughter Lauren. Molly was dropping off my Stampin' Up! order and brought the new catalog for me to drool over. While we visited for a few minutes, the kids all went upstairs to play in Stas's room.

If you remember, Lauren and Stasiu are engaged. She's good for him. She gives him orders, to which he usually listens and keeps him in line.

The two lovebirds.

Now they were here for about 3o minutes, tops. Molly had more errands to run and I was busy cleaning the house trying to get ready to go out of town today. At one point, we hear Stas holler down that his camera didn't work. This was after the door slammed and the baby started crying because he was shut out of the room. We just had to laugh at that one. We should have known better.

I had just finished cleaning his room. I even ran the roomba.

Nearly all of the stuffed animals are in the tent. The tent that was in the playroom.

We have no idea why there is a chair on the bed. I'm sure Stas was on it at some point. Probably standing.

He has a floor, I swear.

After I discovered this, I asked Stas; was this your doing or Lauren's? He immediately said "Lauren". Keep it up, buddy, that kind of talk will get you in trouble.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Beth at 40

On Saturday I turned 40. I have no idea how it got here. This is similar to the " I have no idea how my kids got to be 5 and 2" feeling I have.

It was a great weekend! I had a wonderful night out Thursday at the Melting Pot with some girlfriends. I was under the assumption it was just a girl's night out, but it was a surprise party for me. How nice! The girls even got together and bought a massage for me at a local spa. I am really going to enjoy that!

Carol and a good view of my tonsils.

My good friend, soon to be in-law and fellow wine drinker, Molly and me.

Susan and Jessica also came out to celebrate.

Kim, who organized this, and Katie.

On Friday, Chris kept the kids and mom and I went to The Beaded Frog. It is our local bead store with thousands of beads and ideas to choose. I made this. The pewter charm at the bottom is a mass of frogs.

That night, Chris arranged to have Wok watch the kids and took me to one of our favorite restaurants, Saskatoon. We had a wonderful, kid-free time.

That next day, I slept till 10:30! I haven't done that since before kids. Chris entertained the kids outside and upstairs so I could sleep as long as I wanted.

Later that day, Wok and I ran to the mall with Stasiu to do a little shopping. We then came back to an amazing steak dinner Chris prepared. I received all kinds of wonderful gifts from friends and family. Molly gave me awesome wine, my sister in law gave me a beautiful bud vase to use with my roses from my garden, I received gift cards to further my shopping habit and my mom gave me a beautiful glass necklace. But, the ultimate gift came from my husband....

Yup, you saw that right, a Nikon D40 camera. Nice, huh? Great hubby, huh? Lots and lots of points for him, right? You betcha. I've been playing/learning all weekend and am loving it.

It allows me to take beautiful pictures of the baby, like this one.

And gorgeous close ups of lantana in my garden like this.

He did good, didn't he? Well, he's not done. This weekend he is taking me to Asheville for a long weekend. I. Am. A. Lucky. Woman.