Thursday, November 24

Thanksgiving cards

Dylan made Thanksgiving cards to send to some family and close friends this week. I traced his little hand and turned it into a simple turkey like every child should learn to do! On each finger, I put things that he was thankful for; Mommy, Daddy, Hurley, and Chiko. They were very easy and simple, but fun! It's cute to have a little memory of his hand size, too. :)

We are spending the holiday with my parents (a.k.a. Nonnie & Duke) and my Grandpa made the trip from Iowa to finally meet Monkey! He has been quite the entertainment for them so far. We will see how soon he scares them off! ;)

We plan to go visit the new Disney Store because it is supposed to be awesome and I just have to take Dylan to pick out some Mickey Mouse, or "Mow" stuff! My mom and I tried to go shopping Thursday night when the sales started (by "tried" I mean we never got out of the car). We saw the ridiculous lines wrapping around the stores and decided it wasn't worth it. We'll pay double the price for the stuff instead. I still haven't figured out what the amazing deals people stand in long lines for. I didn't see anything too great in the ads, but this is coming from the person that is done, yes D.O.N.E. Christmas shopping already! Mwahaha! I even have most of them wrapped! So, I guess I haven't cared too much to run out and grab stuff.

Hope that everyone had a great Thanksgiving! Dylan is thankful for all of YOU, too!!! :)

Friday, November 11

Friday Favorites

1. Old Navy Faux-Leather Riding Boots -

Since riding boots are all the rage right now and I love things that are "all the rage," I wanted some! I never even dreamed of buying them until I found my awesome pair of jeggings that make it possible to wear them. I found a pair on sale at Old Navy online for only $29.99 a couple weeks ago. I am no t sure why that are not on sale anymore. They also only had a size 6 when I got them, but now only have a size 10 in the brown color that I got. These are perfect and I love them! If you're a size 10, I would go ahead and order them, even thought they aren't on sale like when I did, but I think they are worth it!  Check them out, or buy them here.

2. Grey Texas Tech Long Sleeve Tee -

This seems like a dumb item to blog about, and normally I wouldn't, but this is now my favorite t-shirt EVER! Have you ever had one of those grey t-shirt that is a soft, flimsy feeling that you just love? It's not the normal kind of cotton t-shirt material. Well, this is one of them and it is a long sleeved tee! I love long sleeve t-shirts. Makes my wardrobe sound real blah, but hey, I stay at home like every day now, and that's what I wear. If you went to Tech, just buy the shirt. I'm serious. You'll thank me later. They have it for guys, too. Buy it here.

Thursday, November 10

Photography Class

My birthday gift from Mark (the zoom lens for my camera) came with a free two-day "Basic Photography Class" to attend. It was on Tuesday & Wednesday evening from 7 - 10P.M. which automatically had me panicking just thinking about how long of a time period that is for me to be away from Dylan. To be honest, I really wasn't in panic mode because I wasn't going to be there, but because Mark was going to be with him for that long. Secretly, I was grinning on the inside so that he can get a slight idea of how my days go, but also, I was worried. Mark is not the most patient person. In weird mom mode, I even drew this real quick on the wipe-off board in the kitchen for Mark to refer to:

Do I need to explain it? There are 4 things that I always turn to if Dylan is in one of those crying mood swings. He has those? Uh, yeah. The 'nothing makes him happy mood' sneaks up at least once every couple of days (sometimes more).  These things can also work if he bumps his head (once every hour) and starts crying, too! First, take him to the snowglobes! Still crying? Try taking him outside, maybe for a walk. The weather is bad? Get out the vacuum and start cleaning, seriously, he loves it. Still not working? Put him in the bath tub and let him play. I've never had it where one of these things doesn't work and hope I never experience that. I'm so glad that these things are fairly simple to help calm him.

Well, Mark never had to "calm" him while I was gone. Go figure. He was perfection and just wanted to sit on the floor with his toys and play by himself next to Mark, or watch T.V. Not fair. That never happens with me.

So, the class. I actually had a lot more knowledge that I thought I did (compared to the other students) while in the class. It helps that I use my camera every single day since I have a little  one running around. Since the first day of the class was basically showing us what all of the buttons on the camera mean, I was a bit bored. I already knew all of that. There are certain things that I want to learn:

- how to get great shots of Dylan while he is on the move (which is always),
- how to get great quality pictures to make large prints from, and
- how to get good shots in horrible lighting situations (inside your house at night)

Some of my questions did get answered. I understand photography terms like ISO, shutter speeds, and aperture, but I get all confused when trying to put them together and take time to think about all of it while Dylan is doing the cutest thing ever! I don't have time to sit and think about what settings to use and I don't get two and three chances to get a perfect shot of something happening and that is where I get frustrated. I did discover that some of the settings that my camera was on were completely WRONG. I am willing to bet that a lot of people have the same problem. I found out that if you change the AF mode to AL SERVO (that is for freezing movement)!!!!!! Mine was automatically set at the "ONE SHOT" setting! Go turn your camera on right now and see what yours is set on, I'll betcha it's on the "ONE SHOT" setting. Mine is now always on AL SERVO. Push your AF button to change it.

When I try to upload pictures to get printed large from a photo store online, like a poster print, or even an 8x10 from, let's say, Shutterfly, I get the warning message that my photo has low resolution and may turn out blurry. I feel like such a dummy now that I discovered it was a simple setting on the Menu of my camera. In fact, the very first setting on the camera's Menu. Go to Menu, then Quality, and make sure it is set on the L (the biggest, best quality of pictures) Guess what mine was set on. The S (which stands for SMALL!) I thought the S was a "Standard" setting. Ugh.

I also learned that I need more practice, and want more things. Like, Photoshop. I feel like all photographers keep everything a complete secret and it annoys me. Do they use Photoshop to edit their pictures, or is there a better program? I want to know! If anyone knows more about Photoshop, I would like to hear about it. I have been interested in also learning about graphic design, too. I want to be able to make really great quality invitations, greeting cards Christmas cards, and photos. What programs do graphic designers use to make invitations? Does Photoshop do that? If anyone knows any of these "secrets," please let me know! :)

Now, if I could just learn to write my own prescriptions, just kidding...

Friday, November 4

Friday Favorites (baby style)

I mean, Saturday Favorites? Ehh... I was "busy" and Monkey went to bed at midnight. Yes, midnight. As in, 12:00 A.M. Now it's 12:45 and I am just now getting to finish this post (plus, I am trying to get all fancy and link all favorites)

I have been meaning to create a post about the things we love and cannot live without now. There are some of the same things that we use every single day since he was born, and then some new things because he is growing and getting so much more mature. Teehee.

Some of the things we continue to use and love (Birth - Present):

1. bottle warmer
2. ItzBeen timer
3. up and up gas medicine from Target
4. Pamper's Sensitive Swaddlers (when not using cloth)
5. bouncer
6. cloud b sheep
7. sound machine
8. baby einstein naptime melodies
9. children's place stretchies

Some of the things that we cannot live without now (9 months - Present):

1. Baby Einstein Neptune's Oceans DVD (We watch this about 5 times a day)
2. Tiny TOMS
3. Easy Mac (I grab this in case he won't eat something where ever we go)
4. Baby Einstein bath book (We read it every night in the tub)
5. Baby Einstein Peekaboo Baby book (We read it over and over)
6. Britax car seat
7. Red Wagon
8. Fisher Price iphone animal sounds app (best FREE app!)
9. swing (the gift that keeps on giving - nap time)
10. cloth diapers (see below)

O.K., so there are tons of cloth diapers to choose from and it is hard to know which one's to buy. They are pretty expensive to just buy all at once, so as many of you know, I have purchased three different brands because they were on some sort of sale website for half of the price. All three brands are different and I like them for different reasons. I do have a favorite of the three, though.

1. GroVia All-In-One's -These are the first cloth diapers that I purchased. I love the ice blue (light turquoise) color they are. They are man-friendly (Mark's favorite because you just snap and fold, you don't have to stuff the liners inside of them like most). I do think that they have to be changed more often in these, though.

2. Bum Cheeks all-in-one nappies - I like how soft these are. I am not crazy about how bulky they are because some of Dylan's clothes don't even fit him in this brand of diaper. They are very durable. I think they hold more and do not have to be changed as often as the GroVia's.

3. Fuzzi Bunz Cloth Diapers - I recently purchased only three of these from Zulily. I honestly did not need more diapers, but wanted to try this brand. These are my favorite! Of course, the diapers that I only have three of are my favorite. Oh well, I know now. I love the color of them and the fabric. They are very soft and stretchie, but not too bulky. They do have to have the liners stuffed inside, but I like when you stuff the lining inside because I think it holds more (less leaks). So, if you come across this brand at a good price, I would recommend stocking up on them. The others work great, too, but if I had to pick, I like these the best! :)