Saturday, January 29, 2011

Day Eighteen--1.18.11

Taking pictures of a ten-week old is difficult.  First, the planets have to allign for her to be

1  fed
2. awake 
3. agreeable to having her picture taken

I usually have two of the three when I WANT to take her picture.  Most times it's "OMG where is the camera she is ready NOW."  And by the time I walk the five feet to pick up the camera and turn it on, the moment is over. 

I love taking pictures.  This 365 day challenge has been fun, even though it's only day eighteen.  It's forcing me to get my camera out and learn even more about it. 

In my (very humble) opinion, I've done pretty well the last three years taking pictures with my camera.  I mess with settings, try to find the light, and get my camera more to "M" mode than any other.  I am by no means a professional photographer, and I don't claim to be one.  I've put photos in the county and state fairs.  (Toot my own horn:  I swept a category at the county fair!)  I know what makes a "good" photo over a bad one (and frankly, I am sick of looking at bad photos that people try to pass off as "good"); even if I don't follow those rules every time.  Honestly, I'm not out to get the perfect photo every time.  Sometimes I just want a quick snapshot and those are just as great as the photos that took me forever to do.

BUT, I digress.  Taking photos of a 10 week old is an event.  Today I made sure Baby-E was well fed, rested, and happy.  I quickly set her up so I could get a pictures of her the first time she was wearing a pair of jeans.

I managed to get about five pictures before I heard The Fast and the Furious.  Remember I said she was well fed?  Perhaps she was too well fed.  My dainty little girl promptly filled her diaper, causing our photo shoot to come to an abrupt end so that my model could have a wardrobe change.  But that's okay.  THAT is what makes photography a challenge--getting a good picture in before those sorts of things happen.  :)

Now I know why she was smiling.

Take my picture with Sissy.  (Notice who he's holding?  His first true love, Buddy.)

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Day Seventeen--1.27.11

I was so nervous when I learned that Edith was a girl.  We didn't find out her gender until her birth, so I never mentally prepared myself for having a daughter.  I was VERY convinced I was having a boy, and never really thought of girl things. 

I know what to do with a boy.  I'm used to playing "boy" toys with H-Man.  He's a very typical boy--lots of running, jumping, whooping and hollering.  Lots of outdoor play.  Lots of trains and trucks and dinosaurs. 

But now?  Now I'll get to un-box my Barbie dolls.  I've been buying up original covers of Baby-Sitters Club books for later readings.  I'm excited to do some "girl" things in a few years. 

Now I'll have someone that knows what accessories are and why they are important.

Proof that the right accessories can make an outfit. 

And H-Man photobombing my session with Baby-E:

Day Sixteen--1.26.11

I love it when I can get a picture of both of my kids together.  This morning H-Man was watching cartoons in his mis-matched pajamas and wanted Sissy there with him.  She was happy to oblige and I was even happier to get a quick snap of the two of them.  I hope they are always this peaceful together--but they wouldn't be siblings if they didn't argue every now and then..  ;)

But right now H-Man loves Baby-E and calls her Sissy.  He always wants to help take care of her:  getting her diapers, paci's, and making sure she's warm and has a toy near her at all times.  He's an excellent big brother and I love watching the two of them interact.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Day Fifteen--1.25.11

H-Man has been BEGGING Hubby to build his "race car puzzle" for nearly a week.  So tonight, before dinner, they sat down to build it.  H-Man hung in there for a good thirty minutes before he got bored and wanted to do something else. 

It was nice to watch Father and Son work on something together, for the first time.  I'm sure this is the first of many projects for the two of them.

Hubby showed H-Man how to make sure he had all of the right parts before starting.  They read the directions together, and H-Man worked on counting all of the nails.  Hubby had to bite his tongue a few times while H-Man told HIM what to do.  "Hammer the nail in Daddy.  Don't go too fast.  Watch your fingers."  It's always funny to hear your words come out of H-Man's mouth.

"O-tay Daddy, do step one"

"Mommy--I am soooo bored."

Day Fourteen--1.24.11

Dinner is (usually) made by me most nights.  Sometimes I go the easy route and just make some Hamburger Helper (which my son LOVES) and sometimes I take a bit more time and make something we all love.

Tonight was Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana.  YUM.  So easy and SO good.  My friend Jenny shared the recipe with me, and now I'm going to share it here as well.  (The italics are my edits to the recipe.)

Doesn't that look DELISH?

 Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana

3/4 cup onions, diced 1/8 inch  (left this out since I used spicy sausage)
1 slice bacon, 1/4−inch diced  (used a tablespoon of bacon grease in the sausage instead)
1 1/4 teaspoon garlic cloves, minced
1 ounce chicken bouillon  (I've substituted chicken broth and stock)
1 quart water
2 medium potatoes, cut in half length−wise,  (I put in about 8 potatoes)
then cut in 1/4−inch slices
2 cups cavallo greens (kale can be substituted),
cut in half, then sliced into 1/16−inch strips  (I just rip it up)
1 1/2 cups sausage link − spicy, pre−cooked, cut in half  (I use a roll of spicy sausage)
length−wise, then cut at an angle into 1/2−inch slices
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream

1. Place sausage link onto sheet pan and bake in 300 degree oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until done.   (I just fry it up in a pan)

2. Place onions and bacon into 3 to 4 quart saucepan and cook onions over medium heat until the onions are almost clear.

3. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute.

4. Add chicken bouillon, water and potatoes, bring to a simmer for 15 minutes.

5. Add remaining ingredients then simmer for 5 more minutes and serve.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Day Thirteen--1.23.11

It is truly amazing how much work a three-year-old adds to the house.

As I went around tonight picking up the clutter and putting it in its spot, (or somewhere hidden where I don't have to deal with it right now) I started to notice all the little touches of H-Man that are around my house.  Matchbox cars on the bookshelf, a derailed toy-train in the living room, his book on the end table, and his little slippers by the door.  Little reminders of where he has been today and what he's been doing and playing.

Then I noticed this:

H-Man is smart, but there is no way he is ready for Shakespeare.  I had to wonder what this book was doing out.  Then I noticed the placement of it and realized that the front-room light was on and I didn't turn it on.  H-Man had gotten this book off of the bookshelf, and used it as a step to reach the light switch that he's about two inches too short to reach.  It's the little reminders of him at the end of the day that make me smile.

Remember when I said that nearly every time I had the camera out, Baby-E was asleep?  Here's the proof.  She was asleep in my arms and I placed her on the couch so I could get my camera.  She was so sound asleep the flash didn't even bother her.

Day Twelve--1.22.11

I have several friends doing the 365 Picture A Day photo challenge.  Yesterday, my friend Amanda posted a picture of her son standing on his tip-toes to reach something off the table.  She snapped that picture because she wanted to remember that moment--because anyone that is a parent knows those moments are fleeting.  One moment they are an infant in your arms, unable to do anything for themselves.  The next moment they are a little person that can make decisions, have a conversation, and reach things off of the table.

Amanda is someone whom I admire.  She's an amazing photographer with her own photography business; she's a mom of three boys (two of which are newborn twins); and she is one fierce friend.  She'll tell you her flaws, but you honestly wonder how she could have any since she's such an amazing person.  Oh--and she's gorgeous, too.

So Amanda, I hope that was enough love for ya' because I wanted to steal your idea for capturing pictures of our kids feet.  :)

Baby-E was sitting in Hubby's lap and I started snapping away.  This was my favorite of the thirty pictures I took of her piggy-toes.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Day Eleven--Part Two

I promise I have two kids, but every time I have the camera out Baby-E is snoozing.  Baby-E is wonderful and is a sweet, sweet girl.  She's been smiling more and adores her brother.  When H-Man is around, she loves to watch him.  I've sat and watched her follow him around the room with her eyes.  She takes in everything he does--so I know in a few months when she starts to move around, I'm doomed.  ;)

H-Man never.  stops.  moving. 

Here we are in the kitchen having a typical conversation.

H-Man:  "Mommy, last year (everything is always last year, never yesterday or last week) when we watch-ed cartoons and we watch-ed Zafronk?  Mommy do you remember that?"

Me:  "Yes.  Yesterday we watched cartoons and we watched Zefronk.  Why do you ask?"

H-Man:  "Well.  When Zefronk made dat banana snack you said we could make dat, remember Mommy?"

Me:  "Yes.  I told you I'd make that.  Are you wanting to make it now?"

H-Man:  "No.  Well, yes.  I want to make it now but eat it tomorrow."

Me:  "Well we can just make it tomorrow then.  It won't be good to make today and eat tomorrow."

H-Man:  "O-tay.  But you promise we can make it Mommy?  I wants to make dat snack and eat it tomorrow."

Me:  "Yes H-Man.  Remind me tomorrow and we will."

The thing about this converstaion is not that he wanted to make the snack.  Not that he could recall what he watched on TV yesterday.  Not that he wants to do an activity with me.

No--the thing to know is that the entire time we had this conversation he ran in a circle just because he can.


Day Eleven--1.20.11

Today is brought to you by the letter G, the letter I, and the letter N.

Things didn't go well for Hubby today on the workfront, so I did what every good wife does and made him a nice drink for when he got home.  That's right--I just set womens lib back about fifty years.  I'm June Cleaver--minus the fussy dress and pearls.  I like being "just a housewife."  I'll have a lot of other years to be out earning a paycheck, but for now my work is here at home. 

I like contributing to my family by keeping the house (somewhat) orderly and raising our two children.  Nothing makes me happier than seeing my two kids all day long.  Yes, at times I'd like to hide in the bathroom and pretend that H-Man's tantrum wasn't happening.  Yes, there have been days when I've just sat and cried because the lack of sleep and stress of the day just broke me down.  But I know I am LUCKY.

So yes, today was a disappointing day for the Wise's.  But there are a lot worse things that could have happened.  My husband still has a job.  We have a great house.  I only need to work part-time to keep our heads above water.  And we have gin.  And vermouth.  And pretty glasses in which to consume said beverages from.  Life?  Life is good.

No olives.  Olives are nasty.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Day Ten--1.19.11, Part Two

I couldn't let these pictures go.  Hubby grabbed the camera for me, because if I got up to take the picture, H-Man would have stopped what he was doing.

H-Man has a TON of books.  I am constantly buying him books since Hubby and I believe in the saying, "Readers are born in the laps of their parents."  When we go to Half-Price Books to sell back my magazines, I let him have my credit and pick out a few books.  I steer him towards books that are appropriate for him, but other than that, he judges books by their covers.  He chose this book because simply "It has to be funny it has cows typing Mommy and cow's don't type!

(And I think in this case, choosing a Caldecott Medal honor book was a good choice!  The illustrations in this book are darling.)
Click the cover to see the book on

From publishers weekly, "Farmer Brown is dumbfounded when his cows discover an old typewriter in the barn and begin experimenting ("All day long he hears click, clack, moo. Click, clack, moo. Clickety clack moo"). Things really get out of hand when the cows began airing their grievances." 

H-Man has read this book several times, but hasn't read it in about a month.  So today, when Hubby left his laptop open, and H-Man (who was playing with his stuffed cow on the floor) lunged for it with the cow I had to laugh:
"Cows that type!  Click-Clack-Moo!  Click-Clack-Moo!"

Day Ten--1.20.11

Today was a first for H-Man--his first Disney on Ice show!  This one was Toy Story themed, so I knew he'd L-O-V-E it, and he did.

We didn't tell him what we were doing until we sat down in our seats.  He wasn't really sure what an ice skating show was, so he happily played with his Toy Story activity kit (thank you Target after-Christmas clearance!) until the lights went down and the music went up.

When he saw Mickey, Minnie, Donald and Goofy come out to introduce the show--well, it was like he saw his four-best friends down below.  He grinned the grin of a child; the one that is full of magic and wonder.  He was even happier to see Woody, Buzz, Jesse, Ham, Rex, and the rest of the Toy Story gang for the next two hours. 

My son, the one that can hardly hold still long enough to fall asleep, sat quietly for two hours and watched the skating, listened to the music, and enjoyed all of the lighting special effects.  So did Baby-E!  She slept for about twenty-minutes, but spent the rest of her mid-morning in my lap alert and curious as to what was happening around her.

And props to Disney on Ice and Conseco Fieldhouse for putting on a 10:30 a.m. show on a Thursday!  The crowd was SMALL, so we had room to spread out, less people to contend with for parking, and not as much hassle walking through the concourse trying to stay together as a family.  These are the times I'm thankful for the flexibility in Hubby's job; and the fact he knows what personal time is and uses it for special events with his little family.  And for that, I love him dearly.

This is what a $10.00 (now partially drank) slushy-drink from Disney On Ice looks like.  And oh yes--there is a $15.00 drink.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Day Nine--1.19.11

15 minutes.

These four pictures represent a 15 minute slice of the evening.  Dinner was simple--bacon and eggs and chocolate milk.  H-Man in all his three-year-old glory managed to knock his plate off the table.  But like I said, simple dinner, so it was easy to clean up.  He helped Hubs sweep up the eggs, but was pretty embarrassed over his dinner guffaw.

He decided that he was done eating, and wanted to play with his "poppers" which are the snapping fireworks that you throw on the sidewalk and they make a snapping sound.  He was told no, that we were eating, he could play later, he needed to put them back up.

OH MY.  Here came the TEARS.  And the SOBBING.  (I really should keep some Oscar's around for his performances.)  After a time-out so he could calm down, he was fine, as evidenced by the next picture.  He knew I took his picture while he was crying and he wanted to "see pictures of the crying boy" and wanted "pictures of a happy boy."

Baby-E sat on my lap during all of this.  You can see she was excited during all of this and cared about what was happening.

So enjoy a slice of our evening--the good and the bad.  :)  I love parenthood!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Day Eight--1.18.11

The promise of a movie in Mommy and Daddy's bed is just too much excitement for H-Man.  The fact that he gets to curl under our sheets with either Hubs or I (or both) is a real treat for him. 

Tonight he was so excited to watch a movie after his bath, he made all the preparations himself, which included getting his two best friends--Buddy and Turtle pillow. Buddy has been around since H-Man's first Christmas and Turtle joined us a year ago.  It's not bedtime at the Wise house unless both are accounted for.

Baby-E was fussing, until we put her next to her brother.  H-Man and Hubs started dancing around and making a bunch of insane sounds trying to get Baby-E to smile--which worked.  And Hubs grabbed the camera from me so I could get in front of it, which rarely happens. So enjoy a few pics from our night!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Day Seven--1.17.11

Baby-E is two months old today!  :)  That was a fast two months.  These two months went much faster than H-Man's did.  Poor girl is suffering from a cold.   It's so difficult to watch her suffer with it and not be able to help her.

I didn't want to forget H-Man, but he was NOT having his picture taking.  He was too busy watching cartoons.  He was leaning because my camera was in his way. 

Today my mom and I went to a used bookstore near us--Books On Sale .  This is my new favorite bookstore!  They have an entire room of kids books, with a little picnic table for kids to sit at while they look at books.  Also, the kids books are facing out, so they can see the covers, and they aren't stacked all on shelves, but instead placed into racks.  PERFECT for little hands to look and choose their own books!

They have book bundles and I picked up two different Little Golden Book bundles for $1.98 each.  H-Man was thrilled to get more "new" books.  

Day Six--1.16.11

Sunday!  :)

Sunday is my favorite day of the week because it's coupon day.  This morning I started making my list, gathered my coupons, and got ready to head to the drugstore and grocery store.

BUT--I had a surprise to open first.  I love surprises, especially those wrapped in pretty paper.

A long time ago, I had sent my husband a link to a couple of Etsy items.  (Hubby gets a lot of links to things I like; I figure it's a good idea to keep his head full of ideas for me.)  Both were felted items with a bird theme, which I adore.  One was the most adorable terra cotta colored bowl, with two little birds perched on the side.  The other was a gray bag with a tree and two turquoise (possibly my favorite color) birds.  LOVE LOVE LOVE

So as I stood in the kitchen, coupons in hand ready to walk out the door, my son comes in and says "close your eyes Mommy" and when I opened my eyes, he had a wrapped package for me!  He says, "Happy Birfday and Merry Cwismas!!!"  I ask him if he wants to help me open my gift, and he happily obliged in ripping off the paper he only wrapped around the box not five minutes before.

I was incredibly excited to receive these two items today.  Not only because they are beautiful, handmade items that I love--but more importantly, they are made by someone I know and admire, Cathy J.

Cathy is a WONDERFUL wife, an AMAZING mother, and an extremely talented craftswoman.  Her wonderful ability with felting is amazing.  She made a BOWL for crying out loud!  I highly suggest you go to her Etsy shop, For Ewe, and purchase one of her adorable hats, headbands, or the other adorable bird bag.  If you don't purchase it for yourself, I'm sure there is someone in your life that would love one of her creations.So go now.  Seriously, stop reading the blog and go look at the cuteness of For Ewe.

The adorable birds on the bowl

Holy cuteness!  ::)


Sunday, January 16, 2011

Day Five--1.15.11

12:35 am and I'm just now getting around to posting todays pictures.  I guess at this point, they are now yesterdays.

Today was a busy, but fun day.  We started the day early by going to a giant indoor garage sale.  I'm a garage sale nut, and love to find a really good deal.  And when you have two kids, finding quality used items is always a plus.  I love Thursdays-Saturdays in the summer and hitting up yard sales and finding clothes and toys for the kids.  I've turned H-Man into a garage sale lover as well.  I let him bring some change from his piggy bank and he can usually choose a small toy or other item if he finds something he just can't live without.  ;)

But I digress...after the day we let H-Man choose where lunch would be at:  Steak N Shake, Fazoli's (or sketti place as he calls it) or Firehouse Subs.  He chose Firehouse "because I get a hat."  Is logic is infallible.  

As you can see--he did get his hat.  And his favorite thing?  Party toothpicks!  ALL food taste better when it's eaten off a party toothpick, as he's demonstrating here while he has part of a dill pickle.  He managed to eat the pickle, deli meat, and potato chips (which took a lot of careful finagling on his part) from the toothpick.

Baby-E.  Baby-E is trying to hand out some social smiles, which is great.  I tried to quickly catch one today.  She's such a good girl!  Right now she's warm and snuggly in her crib, dreaming of snuggles from loved ones and infinite amounts of warm milk--her favorite things.  :)

And as I'm sitting here looking at these two photos--my children will never be able to deny that they are related to each other, they just look so similar!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Day Four 1.14.11

Thank goodness for cameras on cellphones, or I would have skipped today.  Oops.  Today was one of those days that just got away from me.

I spent the morning with Baby-E in her favorite napping spot, in my lap on her nursing pillow.  Her favorite way to spend the morning, as well as mine.  :)  

Later, it was time to run errands.  As I said, the day got away from me, and we got a late start to running errands.  So by the time I got to Target, H-Man was tired and D.O.N.E. with shopping.  He told me, "I'm not tiiiiiiiiiiired!  I wanna' waaaaaaalk" at the store.  I insisted that he ride in the basket part of the cart, I was in a hurry and we could be done quicker.  He was doing his tired-cry while in the cart, which I ignored while I picked up what I came after. 

After a few minutes, I noticed he was awfully quiet.  I peeked around the baby carrier, and saw H-Man sitting up in the cart, head bobbing forward as he was sound asleep.  Poor thing slept through me lifting him out of the cart and into his car seat, then out of the car seat and up to his bed.  He's slowly starting to give up a full-nap and that transition has been a bit rough on everyone.

So this is what a kid that isn't tired looks like:

Day Three 1.13.11

It's really hard to choose just ONE picture.  So--my blog, my rules, right?  Today I choose four pictures.  :)

Today started off with Baby-E's well-baby appointment.  Poor dear was subjected to four inoculations:  one oral, one in one thigh, and two in the other.  And as heart wrenching as it is to hear her scream from the shock of the needle puncturing her skin, it's also a good sound.  I'm glad I live in a place where I have access to immunizations from polio, whooping cough, diphtheria, rotovirus, hepatitis, etc.  So while the nurse pressed the medicine into her itty-bitty thighs, and Baby-E inhaled for a rather large cry, I exhaled a sigh of relief that she received these immunizations.


After her appointment it was time to come home, and the first thing H-Man asked to do was play in the snow.  Again, I happily obliged.  It was roughly 19* outside, but some fresh air was good for him.  So again with the bundling.

But this time, for some insane reason, I put his boots on before his snow pants.  So I made the completely logical choice of putting his pants on while he was wearing his boots.  About half-way through of getting the first leg in, H-Man looks at me and very clearly says, "I don't think this was a good idea.  You should have put my pants on first, then my boots."  All I could do was LAUGH.  He was right and he knew it.  But I persevered and got the pants on without removing his boots.  Score one for Mom.

I want to call these pictures--"Hurry Up Summer" because there is nothing sadder than watching your three-year old sit on his swing while surrounded by snow and cold.

Later tonight, we had a basketball game at IUPUI.  It's a family event since Hubby and I both play trombone in the band.  H-Man likes to go to the games and dance around while we play, but could care less about the actual basketball game going on in front of him.   So we let him bring a few toys to play with to occupy himself while we play.  The last couple of times he's brought a herd of dinosaurs and dragons.  Usually the reptiles hang out on the seats and the floorboards, but tonight, one special dinosaur had a view after he was perched on the stair railings.  

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Day Two 1.12.11

Today was another snowy day.  Cold and snowy.  Again.  H-Man is getting a tad stir-crazy after being inside for the last couple of days.  He's used to going out and doing errands or some place to play and burn off energy--and when the roads are iffy, I like to stay in where I know my little ones are safe.

So today, when H-Man asked if he could go play in the snow, I didn't hesitate to say yes.  But first came the workout for me:

1.  Gather his outerwear.  Coat, hat, mittens, boots, and snowpants.
2.  Get him dressed in his lined jeans, long sleeve shirt, and fleece sweatshirt.
3.  Put on his snow pants.
4.  Take off his snow pants and have him go potty.
5.  Put snow pants back on.
6.  Put on two pairs of mittens so his hands stay dry.
7.  Shove boots on his feet, pull snow pants over boots.
8.  Put on winter coat.
9.  Put on hat and hood.
10.  Watch child waddle out the door.  :)

Total time spent getting dressed?  About 10 minutes.

Luckily, we have a beautiful fenced in back yard, so I can have him play outside while I watch from the warmth of indoors.  :)

He wanders around the stillness of the outdoors for a while.  I love the freshly-fallen snow, because I can see the path of his little footprints and how he just shuffles through the snow.  He took his sand bucket and scooped snow for a bit.  Then over to the shed to pick up a large branch and drag it around.  Then off to his play area so he can go down the snow-covered slide.  

He plays for roughly 15 minutes before deciding that despite all of my bundling, he is cold and wants to come in.  His little cheeks are red, but he is all smiles and tells me of his adventure while I peel off his layers. 

His mittens were covered in snow and soaking wet, so I decided to hang them on the fire grate to dry.  They looked so cute and little hanging there.  Sometimes, with as mature as H-Man acts, I forget just how little he still is.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

365. Wait...354 days of pictures

Today is my birthday.  What birthday exactly isn't important.  I'll admit to being in my thirties, and leave it at that.

For me, it seems that the year never officially starts until tomorrow.  My birthday is like the last holiday of the holiday season.  In about six weeks we crammed in Thanksgiving, our wedding anniversary, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year's Eve and New Year's Day and now my birthday.  Things are finally winding back down around our house, and routines are returning to normal.

A lot of my friends are doing the 365 days of photos.  I had the best of intentions of starting on January 1st, but just didn't quite make it.  I was off to a rough start, having spent New Years Day in bed with the flu, which affected my son on January 2nd, my daughter a couple of days later, and my husband a couple of days after that.  So now that the virus has (hopefully) left my house, I can officially start getting a photo a day.

So today--January 11, 2011 is my official start of pictures.  I tried to get one of each kiddo.  H-Man went outside to help his dad shovel the walk and driveway, and Baby-E stayed inside with me and helped make dinner.  And by help, I meant that the poor dear had to tough it out in her Bumbo while I made some biscuits.

(To see a larger picture, just click the photos.)

 He had been "eating snowflakes" after he got a lesson in not to eat black or yellow snow. :)