Saturday, April 30, 2011

Day 120 - April 30

I promised no kid pictures for this weekend, and I'm all about delivering on a promise.

Instead, you get more of St. Louis Cathedral because I'm drawn to it for some reason, even though I'm not Catholic.

Tonight it's a picture of the back of the Cathedral, including the statue of Jesus which is said to have miraculously survived Katrina. Apparently, trees were downed in the courtyard, but the only damage to the statue was the loss of a thumb and forefinger. This blog entry I found says that the story goes that the statue sacrificed the two digits in flicking away Katrina to prevent the total destruction of the city.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Day 119 - April 29

I figured out how to take pictures of things other than the kid....

Leave town.

No, seriously... we're in New Orleans and I have more than enough things to take pictures of. I looked like a silly tourist tonight with my camera hanging from my neck and my giant sling-shot backpack on my back (holding 3 other lenses because you never know which one you might want to use even though I only used one of them), but I didn't care. There's too much pretty stuff here to care if you look like a silly tourist with a camera.

We got here late in the afternoon so we didn't go too far, but we did get down to Jackson Square/St. Louis Cathedral after dinner. Unlike the last time I was here, the area was a little more crowded and I didn't feel as bold to actually lay on the ground to take my picture, but I think I got a good one anyway. And then I converted it to black and white because I forget that I can shoot in B&W on my new camera (I couldn't on my a100).

Oh, how I've missed taking pictures of stuff!!! (Though there were plenty of pictures taken of the kid playing in Jackson Square, too!)

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Day 118 - April 28

I got lazy today. We had a busy morning at MOPS and then I had a busy afternoon get things around the house put together and dinner prep done for some friends coming over for dinner tonight.

So this was just a quick iPhone Hipstamatic shot of one of the sunflowers from the big bouquet that was another part of my birthday present.

I love sunflowers... you can't be sad when you look at one. It's impossible.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Day 117 - April 27

Happy Birthday to me,
Happy Birthday to me...
Happy Birthday dear meeeeeee!
Happy Birthday to me!

Today's picture of one of my birthday gifts comes with a story.

Last Friday, Jason was scheduled for a night flight. In the week or so leading to that day, I had really been jonesing for a day off. Just a day where I could be at home, by myself, enjoying a little peace and quiet. That doesn't happen often because, when Jason's home on the weekends, we do family things. But a bonus day? Well, that was a perfect way for me to get, at least, my morning. So, rather than plan to do some stuff together, Jason packed up Michaela and a diaper bag and headed out to keep her occupied while I just relished in some time alone in the house. It was heaven.

All of that backstory leads somewhere... I promise...

While out and about, one of the things the two of them did was to shop for my birthday present. I was never told where they went; my only clue was that she got a free plastic bracelet from wherever they were. Really, it could've been anywhere, so that wasn't much of a hint.

Fast forward to this morning. In the spirit of trying to get in a celebratory mood for my favorite day of the year, we've been telling Michaela that my birthday was coming. So this morning, on the way to Kinder-Gym, from the backseat, I hear my little non-secret-keeper saying, "Mommy birthday! Bracelet!" Having asked for a Pandora bracelet, but thinking I was only getting a gift card to B&H Photo, I started laughing. A lot. While driving. Not very safe....

I kept this little tidbit to myself until after unwrapping my gift from Michaela tonight. Then Jason told me he'll never take her shopping again. We'll probably be able to bring her along again at some point, but it won't be anytime soon!!

Happy Birthday to me!!!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Day 116 - April 26

I have to revisit the squash blossoms. I know I just used them back on Day 107, but it's so much fun to look at the whole right side of our garden and see all the blossoms, so I had to go back to them.

Besides, it was either squash blossoms or a bad iPhone picture of the kid with a swimming diaper around one ankle. While the other one was funny, the squash is prettier.

So here you go... lotsa squash!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Day 115 - April 25

I had every intention of posting a picture of our "Meatless Monday" dinner tonight. Then I looked at the pictures and realized they were terrible (yes, I took more than one picture of our food). WAY too shallow a depth of field and it just didn't come out right at all. In case you're curious, we had Baby Pasta Shells with Asparagus and Marinara sauce. It was yummy and the kid even at the asparagus.

In other news today.... Oddly enough, we went to a park. And, oddly enough, Michaela went on the slides a lot. I managed to grab one quick Hipstamatic picture on my phone while she paused for a half a second at the top of a slide. And since she was all about the big slide today (thus going fast and a little crooked), there were no hands free for further picture taking. My services were required in ensuring she didn't either fall off the side or slide off the end of a slide.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Day 114 - April 24

Another day, more Easter eggs. This kid is going to be seriously disappointed when she realizes there's no more looking for eggs until next year! She'll have her new-found love for chocolate to console her, though....

This shot was from an attempt at a quick mini photo shoot when we got home from church. Knowing that I'd be taking her out of her fancy dress to eat lunch and nap (and that she'd be getting into a bathing suit when she woke up), I ignored the crappy noon-time lighting and took a couple of quick pictures. Sometimes, you just have to get the moment, even when the light's not perfect! And sometimes you have to just say "good enough" on the shots you get because your toddler is hungry, tired, and wants to open her eggs!

We had some trouble at today's egg hunt at church because she's realized that there is stuff inside the plastic eggs and she wanted to open every egg as soon as she picked it up, rather than grabbing more eggs. And since the organizers of the church hunt must've expected WAY more kids in her age group in the hunt, there were a LOT of eggs to be gathered! We managed to get her to fill her basket and hold off until we got to our front yard before she started to pop them open.

I'm still laughing about how different this year's Easter pictures are from last year's. Last year was a dress with a matching sweater, tights, a coat to go to church in, and indoor pictures. This year, we have a sleeveless dress, no tights and pictures in the front yard, complete with green grass and flowers!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Day 113 - April 23

Wow. Today was crazy.

We heard about what we thought was going to be a pretty cool Easter event put on by one of the churches across the Bay and we figured we'd go check it out. Little did we realize that half of the Gulf Coast also heard about it (courtesy of a news story) so many THOUSANDS of people showed up! Apparently, this was the first year the church held it away from the church grounds, and I don't think they anticipated how big is was going to be!

What was it? A 100,000 Easter Egg Drop at Battleship Park. A drop, you say? Yes... a drop... the eggs were dropped from the sky by helicopter! Included amongst the candy-filled eggs were ones containing money ($50 and $100 bills), and slips of paper that could be redeemed for some pretty great prizes like an XBox Kinect and even tickets to Disney World.

Unfortunately, because it was way bigger than they thought it would be, it wasn't that well-organized, but it was fun to watch Easter eggs fall out of the sky! Michaela managed to nab 4 eggs (all with candy, no big prizes for us), then we looked at the horses and got out of there as fast as we could before they had the mad rush in the big field for the older kids. I think this is one event we'll skip if it happens again next year, but it was an experience!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Day 112 - April 22

What? No kid picture?

How about flowers the kid gave me? Does that count? Of course, she had a little help from her daddy, but when they got home from the store today, she was the one who handed them over to me (and then took them out of the bag and laid them nicely on the floor).

Two beautiful bunches of tulips to help celebrate my birthday week!

And this was an exercise in using inside light (courtesy of the bazillions of watts that emanate from our 9-bulb dining room light fixture), the right white balance, and the right ISO to avoid noise while also getting a fast enough shutter speed for a hand-held shot. (Doesn't it sound like I know what I'm talking about with this photography stuff?) Oh, and to further add to it, I used one of the side focus points in the camera rather than using the center one and then just recomposing. I know, crazy.

So even though it is most certainly summer-like in our neck of the woods, at least I can pretend it's only spring inside with my tulips!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Day 111 - April 21

Another crazy day around here... all I accomplished this morning was grocery shopping. It normally takes me about an hour, maybe a little more, on a Sunday night to hit Winn Dixie and Target and get it all done. Today I got to bring the toddler. It took considerably longer than an hour and I went to WalMart (WASTE of time!) and Target. Ugh.

So the only pictures I took today were some quick ones with the iPhone while Michaela was "reading" to herself after lunch and before naptime. Note the tongue stuck out in pure concentration.

Once again the Hipstamatic App saves the day, though... anything looks cute when it looks all retro!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Day 110 - April 20

This is bordering on ridiculous now. Melissa - where was that link about ideas for things to take pictures of for your 365 Blog?? I think I'm in need of some inspiration. Although the child is adorable (if I do say so myself), this was not supposed to be a blog about her. Really, it wasn't.

Today was a crazy day, though, with grandparents leaving first thing this morning, Kinder-Gym class late morning, tons of laundry to be done during naptime and then just trying to entertain the kid after nap until dinner time without doing any swimming. So you can see, there was little time to take pictures of anything or anyone besides the world's most adorable girl named Michaela who lives in my house. Plus, I put her hair in a ponytail today. So I had to document that. You can't see it in this picture, but it's there. Trust me.

The ponytail is adorable. But it also makes her look way too grown up. I might have to rethink that and at least stick with pigtails instead.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Day 109 - April 19

We visited the Mobile Botanical Gardens today. I can't believe it took us (and me, the one who loves to take pictures of flowers) this long to get there! It was absolutely gorgeous, not too far from the house, and has no admission fee. PERFECT!

And, oddly enough, even though I took a bunch of pictures of flowers, the kid smelling flowers, some turtles and even a couple lizards, this picture was my favorite shot of the day. These columns were along the walk-way in a part of the garden and just caught my eye. Also, it was one of the easiest shots to edit... this is almost a SOOC shot - I just adjusted the levels a smidge.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Day 108 - April 18

Back to the kid today.

We went to the park with Mimi and Papa today and Michaela had a great time on this one piece of playground equipment. I don't know what you call it, but you sit on it and it spins pretty fast. Usually she goes around a couple times and calls it a day. Today, she stayed on it for quite a while and then walked sideways and fell down when she got off of it.

And I laughed at her. While she was on it and when she was falling-down dizzy. But just look at the expression on her face... how could you not laugh at that? Sadly, I have no pictures of her walking away from it. Because I almost fell down laughing.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Day 107 - April 17

Anyone want some squash? Well, technically, it's just blossoms so far, but hopefully at least a few of these will turn into actual zucchinis at some point. We'll see how it all goes!

The garden box is starting to look like it might be productive... blossoms on the squash, strawberries and green peppers, tomatoes already out on more than a few plants, fresh leaves on the basil plant (bought at the grocery store and planted in the ground!), and good growth on the jalapenos, artichoke, lettuce, cucumbers and melon!

The squash blossoms are the prettiest things out there, though, so they're picture-worthy. (And look, no Michaela picture today!)

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Day 106 - April 16

I'm totally breaking the rules today. I took over 120 pictures today and most of them are useable. I narrowed my choices down to about 10 to do a quick edit on tonight but couldn't get down any lower than three. So I'm posting three.

We went to the Easter Egg hunt at Bellingrath Gardens today. They had a GREAT system for the littlest kids.... a small-ish roped-off area where they could literally just keep piling the eggs in their baskets for over an hour if they wanted. The volunteers just kept bringing the eggs back and dumping them back out around the 0-3 years section of the lawn. The eggs themselves were empty, but they had little prizes the kids could pick after they were done with the eggs. Michaela had a great time and we had fun watching her!

Incidentally, she's 21 months old today, so it was great that I got a bunch of portrait-type pictures of her, too!

So here are the three pictures. You tell me if you could've picked just one! (And I now have a new-found respect for my friend Amy at Simply b photos for picking just one picture from a shoot to post on her facebook page as a sneak-peek. I don't know how you do it, Amy!!)

Friday, April 15, 2011

Day 105 - April 15

A month and a half ago, we went to a couple Mardi Gras parades. Out of those parades (or, as Michaela would say, "ah-rade"), we got giant quantities of bead necklaces. Giant quantities. Half of these have found a home in Michaela's pink Little Tikes shopping cart. Nearly everyday, she pulls at least a few of them out to drag around the living room. Every once in a while, they even make it around her neck.

Today, she decided to try to put them all on at once. And then when I tried to get a picture without her knowing, she caught me. So I tried to get her to stand in some good light (might as well take advantage of it if she's going to pay attention to the camera). That was almost as funny as just seeing her with the necklaces on. In case you wondered, back light is not good light. But I could not get her to turn toward the windows to save my life!!

And she posed. She's a goober.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Day 104 - April 14

Over the past few weeks, I've found myself in a bit of a rut in terms of meals, specifically lunch, for Michaela (breakfast is the same pretty much every day, but I'm good with that). She was eating a lot of mac'n'cheese (mack-cheese, as she calls it), ravioli (ravioli-oli-oli), and peanut butter and fluff (fuff) sandwiches. Every once in a while I've been able to sneak in some apple sauce, a grilled cheese sandwich, or, lately, a quesadilla, but there wasn't a whole lot of nutritional value to it.

So today I busted out the muffin tin. She got six little compartments of variety and I got her to eat something new - the ham - and mixed things up a bit. I think this is going to be my new favorite tool for getting her to eat things she won't normally try at lunch! Now, if only I could figure out how to get her to eat something green besides frozen peas (still frozen), we'd be all set!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Day 102 - April 12

Two things first:

1) I think I should just rename this "The 365 Days of Michaela Project." Then I could stop trying so hard to take other pictures.

2) I'm breaking the rules again today and posting two pictures. It's just too hard to decide. I'm impressed I even got it down to two (ok, I'll give Jason the credit for that) since I had about 10 that I edited tonight, but I just couldn't pick one of the two, so we get both.

We had an Easter Party with our playgroup this morning, complete with an egg hunt. It took just about a minute for Michaela to figure out the connection between carrying a basket and the eggs scattered around on the ground. Once she got it, she didn't want to stop and didn't quite understand when they were all gone. That was, of course, until she figured out there was good stuff in them! In this case, the party-planners put things like goldfish, fruit loops, fruit snacks and some with jellybeans and mini kit-kats (Mommy got those!).

I'm now REALLY looking forward to the Hunt we're planning to go to on Saturday at Bellingrath Gardens!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Day 101 - April 11

Uh, pardon me, but your Type-A-ness is showing...

That's all I could think as I looked over at my child happily eating (sort of) her snack while watching a little afternoon TV. And I had no one else to blame for the bib she was wearing... the one I put on her for her afternoon snack of strawberries.

In my defense, she was wearing a white shirt and strawberry juice can stain. And also, she spit out at least 2 chunks of strawberry (I guess after getting all the juices out of it) which landed in the pocket of her bib.

But, yeah, I'm a little Type-A.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Day 100 - April 10

I just took my picture for today a few minutes ago. It's pathetic. But it shows why it is that I just took the picture and that it's a pathetic one.

I was a smidge busy today after church. I had about 20 minutes to hop in the pool and play with the kid, but other than that, this list took up all my time this afternoon and tonight (and Jason's time, too. Gotta give him credit for some of it).

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Day 99 - April 9

We headed across the Bay this afternoon to go to the Strawberry Festival over in Loxley. We weren't sure what to expect, but we weren't disappointed at all! There were carnival rides (hard to keep the kid off those), people selling various crafts and boutique-y kinds of things, carnival-type food, strawberry shortcakes!, and an antique tractor show. How the tractor show goes with a strawberry festival, I'm not sure, but the tractors made for fun things to take pictures of.

I think this one was a 1950's era John Deere. Pretty shiny and sparkly for being that old, huh?

Friday, April 8, 2011

Day 98 - April 8

I'm breaking the rules today. I just couldn't decide between these two pictures.

First is the kid. With ear protection. We bought these for her before our Disney trip last year to protect her sensitive little ears from all the loud noises she'd encounter. She wouldn't wear them. Now she takes them out of their storage spot every once in a while and asks one of us to put them on her just because. She wore them for no less than 15 minutes today, in the living room, while just playing happily with her toys.

Second is the kid's mess. Seriously. Some days I wonder if I'm running a daycare or just have one child with me. You'll notice that today's mess extended all the way to the kitchen! For what it's worth, it all gets cleaned up every night (she enjoys chucking the Little People into their bags), but it's EVERYwhere during the day. One day I'll get my living room back. One day.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Day 97 - April 7

Shortly before I took this picture, Michaela was standing right next to me. We'd gone outside to "smell" the flowers in the front yard, so I, of course, grabbed my camera. I sat down on the front walk and just caught whatever shots I could.

Michaela, having gotten tired of the flowers and the picture-taking, looked over at me and said, "I play?" I asked her, "Do you want to go play?" She answered yes and then promptly took off across the front lawn, alone and without shoes, no less, toward the playground across the street.

Right before I took this picture, I sharply told her to stop and that she couldn't go to the playground alone. She's looking, as you can guess, in the direction of the playground.

We grabbed her shoes and headed over shortly after I took this picture. For some reason, I couldn't say no....

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Day 96 - April 6

It's another one of the kid today. I can't help it. I need more subjects.

We were "relaxin'" on the couch this afternoon, sharing a bag of microwave popcorn and watching "Tangled" (SUPER cute movie!), so the only camera around was the phone again.

She's definitely her mommy's kid with her unadulterated LOVE of popcorn. She tried to shove it in hand over fist!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Day 95 - April 5

Sliding. Again. This time on a twisty slide, just to mix things up a bit. Thankfully the other kids at playgroup learned to go around her at the top of the slide. She was too busy looking around, chit-chatting and then slooooowly going down the slide so she really would've held up the line if they hadn't figured it out!

Oh, and a new iPhone app today.... this one does different effects after you've taken a regular picture. Fun!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Day 94 - April 4

Everything is a "monkey bar" in Michaela's world. Have I shared that already? Usually she actually finds something that resembles a monkey bar, but sometimes it's the bar across the top of the slide, the railing as she's climbing up and down the playground stuff, or, like today, one of two parallel bars. The kid just likes to hang from things.

I'm learning that giant camera + solo parenting at the park + increasingly more active kid = bad idea, so it's back to the trusty Hipstamtic app again today!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Day 93 - April 3

Again with the kid. Seriously, I need to find other things that are at least half as interesting in my life.

Since said kid decided to sleep in until almost 10am again today, there was no church and no time to get to a park or anything like that before lunch and naptime. So we hit up the playground across the street (I LOVE that we have that available to us) and she went right to her new (again) favorite thing.... the slide. She used to LOVE the slide, but got skiddish of all slides after an incident a few weeks back when she jammed her leg pretty badly while on a slide.

This one is fun, though, because she can climb up herself.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Day 92 - April 2

Today we went over to Pensacola to attend the wedding of our friends Jeremy and Amanda. Jason works with Jeremy and Amanda just got her wings this past week and will be joining the Coast Guard's 60 community (those are the helicopters Jason flies).

It was a beautiful day in Florida - the perfect day for such a great couple to say, "I do."

This shot is a picture of Amanda being welcomed to the 60 community at the end of the sword arch. Tradition says the bride gets a tap on the behind and a "Welcome to the Coast Guard!" but since she's already IN the Coast Guard, they went with "Welcome to the Big Iron!"

Congratulations, Jeremy and Amanda!!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Day 91 - April 1

We're going back to the Hipstamatic on the iPhone today. Pay no attention to the fact that it looks like Michaela's arms are dirty - that's just something the app does. I think it'll be hard not to look at her smile anyway! (And it only took about 6 pictures taken one after another to catch a big ol' smile!)