Sunday, January 31, 2010

Too cute not to share




I really love this first picture. I love the way Nathan shot it, with the full background of the trees. They look really tall here.

The last two are Chesley inside our pots n pans drawer in the kitchen. We were eating right on the other side of the island and saw him crawl in the drawer. He loves playing with pots n pans n spoons n candles. I think that is a candle he is chewing on. Not the safest things. But not the worst either.
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Saturday, January 30, 2010

Happier Moments




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Boo was crying all night last night. This morning he seems fine though. I don't know what was wrong. He cried himself to sleep while I held him. He woke up 100 times and cried. At 4:30, I got him up, changed his clothes and diaper, and I gave him sinus meds and Tylenol. He sounded congested, probably from crying. He just seems too old to cry all night. But he just couldn't sleep good. Poor baby. Poor momma!

Friday, January 29, 2010

I got some pics done





I got some pics done before my Boo play time is now running short. For these, I experimented a little bit and turned up the white balance to make it warmer, more yellow, turned up the tint to make it redder. Then I turned down the saturation. I like how the effect is warm and sort of washed out.
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Picture Question

Birdee said "I think I got confused with what you were saying about the last two photos, did you say that one looks better with B/W? or in color? I have to say I like the one in color because the colors cordinate (for one) which makes it attractive and it adds noise with the laughter going on (IMO)."

I really like the picture of the three kids better in B/W. To me, with all the colors, I lose focus on the silly kids. But of course, there is no wrong or right answer here. I love it that she likes the one in color better! I'm hoping Boo will play for a little while so I can edit some pics I took last weekend.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

My Photography Journey

I have some things I've learned while I've been concentrating on photography these past months. I couldn't really call this post a "lesson" because I don't feel qualified to say that, but I do want to share some tips. This is from my experience only, so if someone disagrees or is a professional and has more information, please chime in.

Fixed length lenses - I love my 50mm prime (no zoom) lens. That means if I want the shot closer in or further out, I have to walk in or out. I shoot with an Olympus E-500 bought in 2006. The kit lens (14-45 mm) I believe is good, but the quality of the pics with the 50mm is great. There is a clarity in the images that is definitely obvious. I can go through pics and just at a glance tell which lens I used. I do want to get the 35mm lens Olympus makes because sometimes I'm in a tight spot and the 50mm lens is too up close. I love setting the aperture (f-stop) low (wide lens opening) and getting a nice blurry background. This lens is 50mm f2, which is wonderful. I could go on and on. The Olympus 50mm f2 lens was $500 and well worth it's weight in gold. I can't say how other brands compare. I know that the Canon 50mm prime is less expensive, but maybe the Olympus is better. See these pics of Boo? The Thanksgiving pic is super cute, but I can tell that the clarity and glow of the image is better in the book pic.

Black and white pics - I know now that only certain pics look good in black and white. Like a picture shot in broad daylight with lots of people and lots of colors, like the one of my niece and nephews. Try a pic like that in black and white. It eliminates the confusion of the color and puts the focus back on the composition of the image. Or a pic that is very clear and nice that has lots of color in it.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

My little momma's boy

Boo is still very much a momma's boy. Sometimes I think it hurts Nathan's feelings. Boo loves his daddy too, but when he is hurt, or sleepy, or mad, he wants momma. Yesterday, he just couldn't get enough of me. It is hard in the evenings because we get home and have a lot to do. I can't hold him the whole time. I try to make plenty of time to hold him. After all, it won't be forever that I am his favorite person in the world.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Family Time

It was nice to have a quiet family weekend, just the three of us. We have been so busy lately and have not had much time to do things with our little family. Saturday night we went out to eat at Cracker Barrel, and that was fun. Boo was really good and enjoyed seeing all the people. Sunday we went to the big park and to the mall. The big park has baby swings, and he liked that. The weather was beautiful yesterday, so the park was pretty full, with plenty of big kids for Boo to watch. It was a really nice day.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Family Fun




We had so much fun all playing outside together yesterday. The weather was warm, but very cloudy, perfect photography weather. I can't hardly wait to get through all of the pics. Here are some really cute ones.
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Saturday, January 23, 2010

Home today

Can't really think of anything exciting to talk about today. Boo was really good and pretty calm for me yesterday. We just played and ate and watched tv after we went to the grocery store. Right now he is playing next to the window in the office talking to the cat sitting on the other side.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Reading Books

I will admit that I haven't been very good lately about reading to Boo. He's just so busy, and he won't sit still. But I did it last night, and he actually sat still and listened to me and looked at the book. So I will try to make it a routine. I encourage everyone to read to their kids. It's hard to remember to do it, but I know it will have a good affect on his future.

We are home today, playing together. It's cold outside now. We will go grocery shopping after Boo's morning nap. He really likes going shopping (for a little while) and seeing all the people. He says hi to everybody. And he expects a reply!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

12 month dr visit Updated

I previously said 19.5 inches, but Boo is 29.5 inches.

Boo had his 12 month well baby visit today. All is well. He got 5 shots! He cried for a minute, but not too much. He always weighs 19.5 lbs. in the 8% for his age. He is 29.5 in. long, about 40%. Dr seemed a little concerned and asked how Boo is eating. But he agreed with me that I can't force him to eat. So we will just see how he grows. I do try different things for food. Tonight Boo ate really good. We had chicken with rice and cheese and veggies. So I will have to do that again. The weather was much warmer here today, so we got to go to the park, and Boo got to ride his trike for a little while.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Thank you Massachusetts!!

Most of us have seen how the Massachusetts Senate election resulted in the elimination of the super majority the Democrats held in the Senate. It's a major win for Republicans, especially since it's in Mass, and they have a long history of Democrats in the Senate. Seems to me that the American people (well those from Mass. anyway) are sending a message that they don't like Congress's health care plans. As I've stated before, I'm not opposed to heathcare reform. I think it's badly needed. But the Democrat plan is too much. Plus the idea of a law that will change the way we have access to healthcare should be approved by more than only one political party. Texas is a pretty big state with Republican senators that is left out of the decision if the Democrats have the 60 votes.

So I'm glad that the game was shifted a little. That Democrats will have to work a little harder and at least convince a couple of Republicans to vote their way.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Savings for College

It's funny how sometimes I have tons of things I want to blog about, and sometimes I can't really think of anything. Go figure. Lately I've had so many things to share. But I like to talk about Boo too. So I'm going to do both. Give my Boo update first, then my topic.

I have been shopping a lot lately, mostly online. Old Navy sends a $10 gift card because I used my credit card. So I spent $90 on Boo. I needed to get him another sweater. Then I saw the Valentine's shirts, jammies, and shoes that were too cute to pass up. He's my little model. He looks seriously cute every day. I'm going to have to put up his 9 month clothes. The sleeves are too short. Otherwise, they fit fine. I saw that Gap sells nursing clothes! They have it hidden under the maternity section. Why would I look under "Maternity" if I am nursing?? But I googled nursing shirts and found it. I like the nursing tops that are easy to open up without getting undressed. I usually do a tank and a regular shirt, but I need some new tops, and nursing ones are nice. Lately Boo is attached to my boob 24/7. He digs in my shirt all the time. He doesn't care where we are. For a while he wouldn't nurse away from home because there was too much going on. Now he will, which is fine, but nursing tops will be nice. Hopefully they will be cute. I got some new pants too. I need to start looking a little nicer at work. With it being so cold here lately, I wear skinny blue jeans, plain long sleeved shirt, hoodie sweater, tall furry boots. So today I dressed up a little more. I shopped in my closet and found some pants I have saved for 5 years that I never thought I would fit into!

Last night, Nathan gave Boo his bath and put him to sleep while I took a bath. Yay for Daddy night!

Now for my topic: college savings. We started Boo's college savings plan a few months ago. We have a 529 savings account that is in mostly mutual funds. I did a lot of research before choosing this one. It's on It was so easy to set up. Of course you should look into your own state's plan first. I don't remember all of the rules, but the website is a good place to start. The money we invest is after-tax, meaning the income taxes have already been paid on that money. When we take money out of the account for educational purposes, no taxes have to be paid, similar to a Roth IRA. So there are some significant savings to using this type of account. If the money is used for non-educational purposes there is a 10% penalty plus income taxes must be paid on the earnings. BUT, the account can be transferred into another person's name in your family - like another child, niece, nephew, grandchild, yourself, if that child does not go to college. If the child gets a scholarship, you can take out the money, pay income taxes, not pay the penalty, and get the amount of money out that the scholarship was for. If the child is disabled or dies (God forbid), you can get your money without penalty. I like to think that some descendant of mine will go to college one day! So I think this is a great option. I strongly encourage every parent to start a college savings plan of some kind. There are lots of options. There are savings account for minors, gift account, pre-paid tuition 529s. Do something to start saving. I didn't like the pre-paid because, thought it sounds like a great deal, usually the stock market rate of return is better than the rate of tuition increases. Tuition increases about 5% per year, over time, the stock market gets 7-8% or better.

Find out what your state offers. Start saving!! Even if it's $20 a month. Even if it's $10 a month and once a year put the money your child gets for birthday/Christmas. Even if your child is about to go to college now, start saving, and you can use that money for his/her senior year.

We are doing $100 a month, and we made a $150 donation of money Chesley got for his birthday and Christmas.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Some thoughts to share

Some things are funny everytime they happen, no matter how many times. Boo will pretend to talk on the phone using any object that remotely resembles a phone or is about the size of any type of phone. So, a hairbrush, toothbrush, cup, toy, play phones, real phones of course are the best. He gets so excited when he gets to play with the real land line cordless phone. If we take it away, major fit. He gets said object, puts it to his head, and says, "HI. HI." But it's more like, "III" if that makes sense. It's pretty loud. And then he waits for someone to talk back. If no one talks back (as in a non-phone), he gives it to whoever is close by. We say hi and then give it back... You get the point. It's really funny.

New tubing for my breast pump is awesome. If you are a BFing, pumping mom, try getting new tubing after a while. Not sure what the optimum time to replace is, but I know a whole year is too long for one set of tubes. I also got new membranes, valves, and all other parts, but I think the tubes are what helped my pump work better. I ordered from on Tuesday last week and got my package on Thursday. Talk about fast! I ordered from them because babies r us and other places have Medela kits, but none of the kits had what I wanted, and they had stuff in them I didn't want. That website sells things individually at great prices. Highly recommended! Plus I couldn't find the tubing anywhere except there.

I've been working on a massive boring spreadsheet all day, hence the two posts. I had to take a couple of breaks from it. I really got a lot done, so that is good. I usually have more visitors and chatting and going out to lunch, but today I've been on my own. So I'm blogging for my breaks!

Things Boo does NOT do

Boo does not sleep all night long. He has not since he was 3 months old. Then he did it for about a month. That was it. He is just not a good sleeper.

Boo does not eat very good most days. SIL says he always eats good for her. So maybe he doesn't eat good for me because he likes to nurse alot.

Boo does not like to be washed. He thinks bathtime should be for playing and does not understand why I always torture him in the bathtub with a washrag.

Boo does not like to be moved from one car to the other in the mornings or afternoons on days when I work. I have to take him out for a minute at least. Afternoons I usually go into mom's house and visit for a minute. If I try to just take him and go, he gets very upset. He hasn't seen me all day and wants to hug and kiss and nurse.

Boo does not drink from a bottle and hasn't for a couple of months. He does not like to lay down to drink.

Boo does not like baby food anymore.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Things Chesley Does

He laughs, smiles, and gives love pretty freely.
He screams when he doesn't get his way.
He screams just because.
He tries to walk.
He dances.
He sings.
He waves.
He nurses.
He drinks from a sippy cup with a straw.
He shakes his head no.
He digs into everything.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Happy Birthday Nathan

Today is Nathan's 31st birthday. So far I struck out with the gift. He wanted a hat, and the one I got doesn't fit right. The shirt is too big. I tried. He is hard to buy for. He's very picky. I am baking a cake. Hopefully that will fare better. I'm going to try to make a two layer, tres leches type cake. I am making two 9" butter cakes. Then I'll poke holes in them and pour Eagle brand milk over them. Then I will ice with cream cheese icing in between, on top, and all around. It sounds good at least.

Boo took one more step this morning. It's so fun to watch. I can't force him to do it. He just has to do it on his own. He is actually in his entertainer right now for a change. Normally he is crawling around getting into everything. He somehow found a can of formula and opened it and dumped it out everywhere while I was making the cake.

Friday, January 15, 2010


My baby took his first steps tonight. They were small and they were only two, but they were steps. He was standing by the refrigerator playing with the ABCs and stood for a while on his own, then he decided to walk. Two little tiny fearless steps. I was almost in tears. My baby is learning to walk.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Near death experience #2

This one was way scarier to me. In Sept 2005, we were warned of a hurricane forming in the Gulf of Mexico. Then we were ordered under mandatory evacuation to leave our homes. This is something SE Texans have lived with our whole lives. Never before this had a hurricane actually hit us. We watched Rita form and barrel towards us. We did evacuate, but we only traveled about 40 miles North, thinking that was far enough away. Two days before the storm would hit, we were at my in-laws house, in the woods, just waiting, like dummies. Then it came, and we might as well have been at our house. At 12:00 am, we were wakened by shattered glass and lights out. A tree hit the side of their house. It was Nathan's parents, my parents, my grandpa, and a dr mom worked for and his wife and two kids, in a three bedroom house. Then we all woke and gathered in the hallway, all of us. We sat there all night, from midnight till 8 am. Sitting in the hallway. At one point, another tree hit the house. The dr was actually in the room when it hit. Water started pouring in. We huddled in the hallway. Nathan and I hugged and cried most of the night. No sleeping. 8 hours of hell. It sounded like a train going by all night. 100 mph winds all night. Tornados, trees falling. I just knew we were all going to die. It wasn't a question in my mind. I just knew that a tree was going to fall down that hallway and kill us all. That feeling of certain death for 8 hours was horrible. I didn't think of my life. I just kept thinking of a tree falling and killing us. Little did I know how close it came to happening. One of the trees that fell would have fell on us, but the brick wall held it up. It was actually two trees on each other, on the house. If the bricks would have given way, we would havfe been dead. In the morning, the storm died down, and we were ready to get out of the house. There was tornado warnings still. We felt that getting out of the house to the school across the street would be safer. We had to climb out of a bedroom window since all three doors were barred by trees that had fallen right in front of the house or on the house. It was the scariest moment. Needless to say, during the next evacuation, we went 300 miles North. I will never put myself in that situation again. Then Nathan helped his parents clean up their house all day. Then we went to Austin at 8 that night, with no sleep. There is more to that story, but I'll leave it there.

I just wonder, does everyone experience something so close to death. I feel lucky to have made it out of two situations that could have claimed my life.

My Books

I love my books from Blurb. It's really special to see my words and pictures in print. I encourage all the bloggers out there to check it out. Can you imagine how special it would be to have something like this from your mother or grandmother? I like to think Chesley will enjoy this when he grows up. "Looking In, Looking Out" is a simple story book with pictures of Chesley with family members, meant to be read to him. The blog book is my blog from Oct 2008 through Dec 31 2009.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Near death experiences #1

I got to thinking about near death experiences while I was watching the TLC special "Brace For Impact" about the landing of Flight 1549 in the Hudson River on Jan. 15, 2009 by Captain Chesley B. "Sully" Sullenberger. It was a chilling account of the dire situation the flight was in after hitting a flock of geese and being forced to land in the water. There was nowhere for the plane to land with New York City being below it. It truly is an amazing and miraculous story. Hearing the people's accounts of the thoughts running through their minds was chilling. They truly thought, they knew, they were going to die. The plane was crashing. No one was screaming or crying. It was quiet. Then they lived. They got a second chance at life.

I have had two near death experiences. At least I felt like I was going to die. One was so quick I didn't have time to think about anything at all. I was 17. I was riding in a mini-van with then boyfriend C. It was a rainy night, and we were going to a movie. A truck hit us from behind, spinning us around, straight into a concrete wall, across two lanes of 70 mph traffic. It was probably 2-3 seconds from impact of the truck to impact of the wall. I remember feeling the truck hit us, screaming, hitting the wall, then waking up with C screaming at me and freaking out. Luckily (huh) no one else hit us. A constable car saw the accident and called for ambulance. I had a nasty cut on my forehead and was bruised and banged up and super sore, but basically ok. My parents met us in the ER where I was waiting for a long time to be seen. My face and hair were all bloody. But I made it and was ok. I will never forget those 3 seconds going 70 mph towards that concrete wall. It was terrifying. But there were no thoughts of my life or anything else. Just the wall. A tiny scar is all I carry from that accident.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

My girl





She is silly. She doesn't always like to share. She is a princess with her whole heart. She's my girl.
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Monday, January 11, 2010

Moving Day

Today I am moving offices. For some reason I wore heels today. So my back is not feeling good. I do have a rolling cart to do three boxes at once in the elevator. I'm in the new office right now surrounded by boxes. At least I am pretty organized, so it's just a matter of putting files in boxes and moving them, not too much of a mess. I think I will be spending the day moving stuff in. I am taking everything from my office, computer, office supplies, mouse, keyboard, and now that I am sitting in this new chair, I think I'm going to get my old chair too. This chair is made for a large person, and it's not working for me.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Happy Birthday Baby

Mommy and Daddy love you very much. I think back and remember one year ago, the day you were born, the best day of my life and the most painful experience of my life. How can something so precious come out of something so painful? The first time I looked into your eyes, I knew life would never be the same. And every day you show me how to enjoy the little things in life and how to laugh for no reason and how to dance when there is no music.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Getting ready for the big day

I can't hardly believe my baby is turning one! We are getting our house ready for the party. Food is partially cooked, everything is bought except cake and balloons. I think we are ready. It's really cold here, and our house is not up for the challenge. We can't keep downstairs warm enough. We run the heaters and then the breaker trips. Upstairs is not good for a party. So we will do the best we can, but I hope everybody brings their sweaters to wear inside. Chesley is so funny. He really likes to dance, even when there is no music. I'm hoping to do a post this coming week on what Chesley does and does not do here at his first birhday. And of course there will be lots of pictures from tomorrow.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

A busy day

The big meeting is in a few minutes. I am all ready.. I think. I am not however quite ready for Boo's party. Hopefully I will have time to get everything together. It's supposed to be very cold here this weekend, below freezing all weekend. So our party will be indoors. And we hope Nathan doesn't have to work. When you work at a refinery, and there is freezing weather, things can go wrong. So we'll see.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

I think it's resolved

It looks like I am going to move offices, but I will still have my own office. So I may always think of this office as home away from home, but at least I will still have privacy. I'm not sure how long I will continue to breastfeed. I'm not sure how long I will need to pump during the day. Most people probably think that if a toddler is breastfed, it's only at night. That would mean no pumping during the day. And I would be fine with him having something else to drink while I work. But on the weekends (Fri, Sat, and Sun), when he is with me, he likes to nurse during the day and at night. So if I don't pump Mon thru Thurs, I may not be able to nurse during the day. And I definitely wouldn't be comfortable will full breasts at work all day! So things don't always work out like I thought they would, but everything will be ok. I definitely don't want to pump at work forever. But maybe for a little longer. He's still my baby after all... And he's not one year old yet.... for three more days!

A funny note

Read the last post from earlier today first. I actually had a dream last week that I would be sharing an office with this same person. In the dream, people were always walking in on me while I was pumping. The feeling was terrible. There are locks on the doors, but still. A bad dream may be coming true!!

It shouldn't be a big deal

But it does seem strange to have to talk to anybody at work (men) about pumping milk. I do try to be professional at work. But pumping is just part of my daily activity and has to be done. Well, it looks like I am going to have to move offices. The first idea was for me to share with a man. Which is not a huge problem. He would just have to give me some privacy twice a day for 15 minutes. So it would be an inconvenience, but we could work it out. It's just better for me to have my own office. I know a lot of women have to deal with finding a place to pump everyday, and I am fortunate that I have had my privacy this long. Sharing with a man just opens the door to getting picked on and people talking about me. We're not always politically correct out here. So I would have to deal with the talk. I could deal. I actually did tell me boss that I need privacy twice a day for 15 minutes. I didn't say why. I told him I could give more detail if he wants. He asked if it had to do with having a baby. I said yes. Maybe I should have elaborated, but I didn't want to make him uncomfortable. He is going to try and get me an office. I don't mind moving around. There are offices where people are out for a couple of months at a time. It doesn't make sense to me for us to be inconvenienced everyday sharing an office when there are plenty of empty ones. So that conversation felt embarrassing, but it shouldn't be! So we will see what happens. I will probably find out soon. I think I will still have to move though. I've been in the same office for 4 years. I'm a little attached. We've been through a lot together, me and my office!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

It's cold!

It's cold outside right now. We are not used to this cold weather stuff. Our house is not insulated, so our heaters run constantly. Our main breaker tripped around 5 am, all lights out! I guess our house gets tired and cold and just gives up. Boo had a rough night. He just can't stay asleep. I try to let him cry for a minute. Sometimes he goes back to sleep, sometimes not.

I'm really busy at work right now. Just seems like my list of things to do keeps getting longer, and I can't keep up. Big presentation has to be ready for tomorrow and all kinds of other little things keep popping up. I have to prioritize and do what I can do. I'm definitely am ready for Friday to come!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Gettin back to it

I need to get back into the swing of things again. It was really nice to have some time off work, but now I'm back. We slept late this morning. I just could not make myself get up. Boo has gotten into the habbit of taking an evening nap. We try to get him to take an earlier nap, but he just won't, so he passes out at 6 pm. Then he doesn't want to go to bed. So I was tired. Then I was late. Oh well. A lot of people are still off. I think I have almost everything for Boo's party. I will have to go to the store Friday to get a few things, but it's mostly ready. I hope we can pull it all off!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Boys Riding Bikes





Nathan and Chesley had fun riding their bikes together. Chesley is wearing his new teddy bear coat Nathan bought him at Gap. Chesley really uses his feet and sort of walks on the bike. Sometimes he uses both feet and gets going a little faster. It's so funny to see my little baby riding a bike. Does this mean he is growing up?
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Saturday, January 2, 2010

A fun day

I had a really fun time at my birthday party mom had for me. She actually got a princess cupcake cake, like Disney princesses for little girls. And she made us all wear princess crowns. She is silly, but I love her. Dad made yummy grilled shrimp and papaw made chicken and dumplings and black-eyed peas and cabbage. It was all really good.

Today we are hanging out at home about to go to moms and hang out with her. I think I've finished editing my Christmas pics, so here are a few of my favorites.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year 2010!

The beginning of a new year. The beginning of a new decade. What will we call this decade? The zeros? What new things will come into our lives? Where will we be in 10 years? These are all exciting questions to me. The 90's brought the internet. What could top that? Almost every home in this country has a computer.

How will our family grow this decade? This is the time in our lives for raising children. Probably the wildest decade for us, but definitely the most exciting. There can be no greater pleasure in life than raising a child. Doing the best we can to raise our child to be a healthy, happy, productive member of society. Right now we are concentrating on learning how to eat food and learn some words. Soon we will be full fledged into temper tantrums, then walking and talking. Then potty training. This next year will be exciting for us.

So I hope everyone has a great start on the new year!

Oh and I'm a year older today too! I was born Jan. 1, 1981 at about 5 pm in Houston, TX.

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