Sunday, February 28, 2010

After debating which photos to hang in the basement, Christine emailed me and asked why I didn't just shoot some new individual photos of the kids with short depth of field, and natural light. I knew all along that I really liked the idea of having a photo of each child, but I just felt daunted by the process. Mr. Boy never wants to get his photo taken. Sweet Pea poses, sometimes a little too much. Precious is hard to photograph because she leaves her mouth open a lot and when she poses, it ruins the photo! Christine suggested bribing the kids, which I ended up doing with Precious. She sat through three photo shoots and earned three lollipops in the process!

I used Becky Earl's photo retouching ideas and took the plunge and sent one of the photos to Black's for printing. I was getting a 12X18 done so I thought it wise to send just one, see how it turned out, then send the other two later. I got the print of Mr. Boy back yesterday and it looks great! I sent the photos of the girls to be printed and they should all be hanging up by next weekend.


Clean as a Whistle

Saturday, February 27, 2010

The digestive tracts of the whole family are clean. The norwalk virus or some other gastro bug hit our house this week.

Precious - Sunday - puking over a three hour period in the evening. Low appetite the next day, but not hit too hard overall. Highlights: Sweet Pea came to see what was happening and slipped and fell in Precious' vomit. Nice.

DH - Wednesday evening - was fine when I left for hockey, and when I came home 2 1/2 hours later, he wasn't feeling well. Vomiting from 11:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. Highlights - I had to cover getting the kids off to school, plus the nanny had a doctor's appt that morning, so I didn't get to work until after 10:00 and stayed until shortly after 6. I got home at 7:30 p.m., owing to a snowstorm. At 8, I was out shoveling the heaviest, wettest snow I have ever seen. It took me almost an hour to clean the driveway and I was exhausted by the end. DH helped, too, even though he was pretty weak after not eating all day.

Me - Friday morning, I decided to skip the gym. I wasn't feel 'right'. Vomiting from 11:50 - 3:00 p.m. Napping on and off all afternoon. By supper time, I was hungy and had a little bread and ginger ale.

Sweet Pea - Friday night - Vomiting from 7:00 p.m. to 3 or so in the morning. DH slept in the bed with her and helped her get to the toilet or bucket.

Mr. Boy - Four hours before he was set to leave with Daddy on his first ever ski/boys' weekend, he began vomiting. It lasted from midnight on Friday and lasted until 7:00 on Saturday morning. Highlights - DH with one sick kid on either side, getting up every 1/2 hour or so all night to help get vomiting kids to the bathroom.

I was starting a 4-week cleanse this weekend, so at least I am starting with a clean slate!


Family Day

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Monday was a holiday for most of Ontario. Not me, though. I work for the federal government. Usually we get all the holidays and more and seem to have a sweet deal, but maybe because it's a new holiday, we don't get Family Day off. I get remembrance day off, but since the rest of the family is at school or work, it doesn't do me much good. On a day when I would definitely want to spend quality time with the family (I think the name of the holiday inspires me), I was off on the "red and white limousine" (public transit) to my government job.

DH had the wherewithal to take the kids swimming on the morning of family day. The public swim started at 8:30 that morning, and he was there for about 90 minutes, including the obligatory 10 or 15 minutes in the hot tub at the end of the swim. The hot tub is definitely my favourite part, and the kids love it, too.

Due to the bus schedule, I work an extra 10 minutes every day, so on Family Day, I decided to leave 10 minutes early and got home 1/2 hour early owing to good luck with the bus transfer, and the reduced traffic from downtown.

Now that I'm working in another province (since last December), the situation will happen again when I get June 24th off (St-Jean Baptiste Day) and DH gets the August civic holiday.



Friday, February 19, 2010

My first ever 3-D movie. And it was three hours of bliss. DH and I kept looking at each other and mouthing 'wow'. I don't care what the reviews say about a lack of plot, cheeseball dialogue and clich├ęs. I couldn't have cared less. I enjoyed the movie, and I can't believe how fast 162 minutes went by.If you're going to see any movie at the theatre, this is it.


More Photo Retouching

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Christine introduced me to Becky Earl's website. I love Becky's photos and humble attitude. I was thrilled recently when she posted a re-touching tutorial. I took some photos of the kids in natural light last week and tried her re-touching. I also used my Vibe Botox brush, at 24% opacity on Mr. Boy's skin in a couple of spots, and the clone stamp tool to remove the logo from his sweatshirt.

I love how the photo turned out, especially where I bumped up the midtone curves on the eyes to make them pop. LOVE it!



Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Last Friday was a professional development day for the older two kids. Precious still had kindergarten in the morning, until 11:30. After kindergarten and lunch, the three kids and I headed down to a huge winter festival called Winterlude. It takes place at several sites, including the Rideau Canal, the world's longest skating rink. It's three weekends in February and guaranteed to be a good time.

I knew skating with two so-so skaters and one beginner skater on a bumpy skating rink might not be fun for long, so I decided to take the kids' to the ice sliding and snow sculpture park. They also had snowshoeing, skiing, tobogganing, tubing, and a snow maze, but the main attraction was the ice slides. The ramps to the slides are all made of snow, with high walls of snow on either side. The slides themselves ranged from wide and icy to narrow and icy. Mr. Boy didn't like the look of the 'speed' slides, but Sweet Pea jumped right in and was down at the bottom in a flash. Eventually Mr. Boy tried a slide, after he ran into some friends who were also sliding, and he ended up having fun.Above: A picture of the kids right after we parked the car as I didn't feel like carrying the camera with me. Notice the Olympic red mitts. I bought them that morning. One pair for each child.

After sliding for a while, and after running into a few people that we know from our neighbourhood, we got Beavertail pastries and a hot chocolate and enjoyed some warm-up time in a shack they had set up for eating and getting warm. Sweet Pea asked me if there was any beaver in the beavertails, and I assured her there wasn't. She wanted an orange juice instead of hot chocolate, so she went up to the cash on her own and ordered an orange juice and paid, got the change, and even spoke in French. I was so proud, and she was beaming. She loved the fact that we were somewhere where people speak French since she's in French Immersion.

The older kids were reluctant to leave after almost three hours, but Precious was having a meltdown. She's still not used to having no nap in the afternoons. It's been about 2 months, but she still falls asleep in the afternoon if she's left in a warm, quiet spot for any length of time. She's sleeping in a little longer in the mornings, which was the impetus for cutting her nap in the first place, so it's working out overall. On Friday, she wasn't too happy to be awake and in a place that was neither warm nor quiet, so she cried, and I finally piggy backed her back to the car and we got home in time for supper.


Dyed in the Wool

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

I started highlighting my hair when I was 16. I continued dying my hair for about 18 years after that. For the last 4 1/2 years, I haven't dyed my hair nor highlighted it, but on Thursday, I dyed my hair dark brown. It is quite the change. Some of the strands are almost black and some are reddish, but the dye is still pretty fresh and I know it will fade.

I love the overall effect, and it gives my ultra-fine hair a little extra body. It looks pretty shiny and it feels smooth, too. I used HerbalTint brand dye from the Natural Food Pantry. I don't know if it's any healthier for me, but it has no ammonia or peroxide, and the thrifty side of me appreciated that I could use just half of the contents of the box, since I have such short hair, and save the rest for the next dye job. At $20/box, that makes for a pretty cheap colour job. Hopefully it doesn't look that way.

I used to spend about $185 every 8 weeks for the three-colour foil highlights/lowlights at the swanky salon.
I now have to wear a touch more make-up to balance the darker hair colour. I like the way it makes my eyes look bluer. Sorry about the crappy self-portrait using the point and shoot camera. It was the best I could do for the moment. The colour may not be perfectly accurate either, but you get the point anyway, right?



Sunday, February 7, 2010

I had a little nap this morning, then we took the kids swimming. Sweet Pea went down the big slide, all the kids jumped in, and we all had a great time. We gave the kids showers after the swim so now we don't need to give them baths tonight. Bonus.

My muscles are a bit sore after doing weights yesterday for the first time since I had very minor surgery on my neck on January 18th. I had 4 stitches removed on Wednesday, and by Saturday morning, I knew I would be alright to start lifting again and it felt great to be back. It also ran into a few people I knew at the gym, and that made me feel happy.

But the best news yet, something I just found out today, is that Alexander McCall Smith released a new book in the 44 Scotland Street series! It came out on January 12, 2010, and I just reserved it at the library.

There are about 100 people ahead of me in line, but with something like 14 copies, it won't take that long for me to get it. In the meantime, I am really enjoying The Book of Negroes, and I can't wait to lend it to Michelle, if she hasn't read it yet, as I know she will love it. The author, Laurence Hill, was recently in my town, and going to see an author speak is something I have always wanted to do. I did see Gwynne Dyer speak, but that was back in the mid-90's when I was getting my political science degree, and I haven't been to anything since. I feel embarrassed to admit that I have been living in a cultural vacuum for this long. It is time to break out and start using my brain again. Right after I finish reading The Unbearable Lightness of Scones.


A Decision Made!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

I decided what to do. Thanks everyone for your input!

I have three picture frames over the couch in the family room. I'm going to put these photos there.
In the basement, I'll put these up, once I adjust the colours to make them more similar.


A New Look

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

It's a new year and it was high time for a new look for my blog. Click through to check it out and let me know what you think.


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