April 30, 2012

A month in photos

This will be my first time linking up to A Month in Photos over at SIMPLE AS THAT.  I like the idea of putting a collage together of your favorite photos for the month.  I had a difficult time choosing my favorites and since my collage only allows 6 pictures, I had to put together two.  I hope that's okay.  I look forward to seeing the other submissions as well.

Baby ESP

Have you tried the Baby ESP application?

When Alivia was born, I found it difficult to keep track of, well, everything.  Most importantly, though, the number of bottles and ounces she would drink and the number of pee and poop diapers she would have in a day.  I knew this was important information that her pediatrician would inquire about at her appointments.  I've never been good at guessing, so I knew that I would have to track these things somehow if I wanted to give the pediatrician accurate information.  At the time, while I was in the hospital, the easiest way to keep track of everything was to write it down.  So on that first day, when Alivia was born, so wasn't a journal.  I'm really pushing it when I say journal.  I kept all of my notes on a small pad of paper and tore off pieces as they were used. 

April 28, 2012

New Pics... The Paper Mama Photo Challenge

Meet Alivia.


She's is my 21 month baby girl. 
She is my BEST friend. 
She is my silly goose. 
She is my cuddle bum. 
She is my love bug.
She is my crank pot. 
She is my drama queen.
She is my chatty Kathy.
She is my love.
She is my life.


In short, she is my HAPPINESS
Seriously, how can this picture not make you smile?
I'm linking it up to The Paper Mama Photo Challenge.
Hope it puts a smile on your face!

The Paper Mama Photo Challenge


As a reminder, I recently added the Google Friend Connect gadget to my sidebar.
You'll just have to scroll down the page a bit to see it.
If you like what you've read, please feel free to join my site.

April 27, 2012

Shoot. Edit. Submit. & FIF

I almost forgot to link up to the Shoot. Edit. Submit. photo challenge over at Mom Tried It.  How could I forget?  It's been a crazy Friday already and it's only 12:39pm.  Anyhow, here is this week's submission.  I love this close-up of Alivia.  If you've seen any of my pictures, I'm sure you know that I'm a BIG fan of filling the frame shots.  I like this one mostly because of her messy hair (it was windy out) and I'm glad I chose to convert it to black & white.

The Missing Link - Week 3

Have you ever felt like something was missing from your life? Well, it could just be one of the links below. Hence my post title! You may ask yourself "Is she serious?" Well the answer is "No, I'm definitely NOT serious." I'm just feeling silly. Seriously though, I thought I'd share some of my favorite links with you in an effort to spread the love. What's better is that I thought I'd make this post a weekly thang! No that isn't a typo. I told you I was feeling silly. So the links below may not complete your life, but I'm hoping they, in some way, add to it. I separated them into categories for easy navigation. I hope you enjoy them as much as I have.

April 26, 2012

My Day of Randomness

Okay so here's the scoop.  It was quite chilly yesterday so I didn't get any outdoor photos!  Boo!  I did, however, make up for it in Instagrams and indoor shots!  Yay!  Livvy and I didn't too much yesterday.  We had a little trip to the Carter's store to use some gift certificates that had been sitting in my wallet just beggin' to be used!  I bought her 6 sundresses.  On the way home from Carter's we stopped at DSW for my mom to buy some shoes she wanted.  While I waited in the car with Livvy, I snapped some Instagrams.  Then it was back home to have chicken for lunch and strawberries for dessert.  Livvy watched an episode of The Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and Jake and the Neverland Pirates and then it was back out to my mom's house where we visited for a couple hours and stayed for a pork roast, corn on the cob, and broccoli dinner!  We left my mom's at around 5:45 pm and were back at our house by 5:49 pm.  Did I mention my mom lives across the street?  Yes, it is very cool!  I don't know how many times we've walked to each others houses in our pajamas, slippers,  or kitchen aprons, sometimes not having showered yet, no make-up with our hair dirty and all!  What a sight!  I'm sure you can imagine.  Although you wouldn't have to imagine if I got some pictures of us.  No, I wouldn't do that to you!  That's just wrong!  Trust me when I say it's NOT pretty!  Seriously though and silliness aside, I wouldn't change it for the world!  I'm sort of a mama's girl.  Even still, at 35 years old. 

April 25, 2012

New Pics... The Instagram (and some more Freebies)

I don't think I'm so wordless on this Wednesday but what do you think? 

Intermittent Exotropia (Alivia's follow-up Ophthalmologist Appointment):
You can find a previous post about Alivia's Intermittent Exotropia HERE.
Livvy had her follow-up Ophthalmologist appointment at Children's Hospital yesterday.  She has been seen in the past for Intermittent Exotropia.  Since her last appointment, her eye has gotten increasingly worse so I was anxious to get her in to see the doctor as soon as possible.  I was almost certain that the vision in her eye was starting to deteriorate and was preparing myself to hear treatment options.  Luckily her vision was fine!  Apparently because her eye is only turning outward some of the time her vision is less apt to deteriorate at a rapid pace if at all.  On the bad and scary side, the doctor informed us that she would probably need eye muscle surgery in the future but that it was difficult to know for sure since she couldn't get an accurate reading of her eye placement.  The only thing that would allow her to get an accurate eye reading was if Alivia were a little older and more cooperative.  With this said, the doctor will continue to see Alivia every three months.  In the meantime, she had suggested the patch as treatment for the eye muscle.  I am supposed to patch her strong eye for 20 minutes to a half an hour a day.  With her strong eye patched Alivia will be forced to exercise her weak eye in hopes of strengthening the eye muscle.  Unfortunately, however, the eye patch can cause the strong eye to deviate (since the eye muscle is not being used, this can sometimes happen).  In this case, I am instructed to stop the patch treatment immediately.  Now, for the BIG question.  How the hell am I going to get my 20 month old to wear a HUGE band aid patch over her eye?  And the other little questions that seem to follow.  What if I can't get her to wear it?  Am I a bad mother if I don't insist she wear it?  Do I argue with her?  Will she dislike me for making her wear it?  I guess I'll just have to see what happens.  It doesn't make any sense to worry about it now. 

April 24, 2012

New Pics... Some Freebies

After installing the Instagram application on my Android, yeah I'm a little behind the rest of the Instagramming world, I was inspired to find an Instagram collage maker for all of my cute and perfectly square instagrams!  After searching and searching for a simple collage maker, I ended up with nothing.  That's right; nothing.  It did get me thinking though.  Thinking about how I would love to post all types of collages on my blog. 

April 23, 2012

New Pics... Happy Monday!

First, I had to attach an animated GIF of Livvy walking around outside.  I was super excited to see a post written on how to create your own animated GIF in PSE over at Finding my Creativity.  I used Gickr in the past and although it was easy to create, the quality of your picture was affected in the conversion which was, let's face it, a little disappointing.  Creating an animated GIF in PSE keeps the quality of the photo in tact even if you opt to make it a large file!  My example is actually a bad one only because I started off with horrible pictures.  Horrible in that they were super blurry and underexposed to begin with but I couldn't resist animating them to see my little one in action.  The only thing that I did not how to do in the tutorial was to copy and paste a picture onto another picture.  So instead, I wanted to share the alternative that I used.  With your original picture opened, go to File / Place.  PSE automatically converts your picture to a new layer that is placed on top of your original.  It's that simple!

April 22, 2012

New Pics... Almost forgot these

I can't believe I almost forgot to post these pictures of my cutie!  I took them right after her bath.  I usually let her play a little in the buff.  Well not completely in the buff, I'd be too afraid she'd pee from the breeze of running around.  Jeez, I make her sound like a little puppy dog or something.  If she had a choice though, I don't think she'd be wearing a diaper at all.  She usually pulls at her diaper until it's hanging off her bum and you can see the top of her crack.  My husband will jokingly say "crack kills" in which I always reply "not this crack!"  I know.  There is something terribly wrong with the two of us ;o) 

April 20, 2012

The Missing Link - Week 2

Have you ever felt like something was missing from your life? Well, it could just be one of the links below. Hence my post title! You may ask yourself "Is she serious?" Well the answer is "No, I'm definitely NOT serious." I'm just feeling silly. Seriously though, I thought I'd share some of my favorite links with you in an effort to spread the love. What's better is that I thought I'd make this post a weekly thang! No that isn't a typo. I told you I was feeling silly. So the links below may not complete your life, but I'm hoping they, in some way, add to it. I separated them into categories for easy navigation. I hope you enjoy them as much as I have.

Shoot. Edit. Submit.

I'm linking up to the Shoot. Edit. Submit. photo challenge over at Mom Tried It.  This week I chose a favorite of Alivia that I just recently took.  We were at the park and, not that you can tell from the picture, she was sitting on a bumble bee rocker ride.  Well that's what I'm calling it anyway.  Her daddy was sitting behind her.  I feel like the angle, light, her expression, and colors all came together perfectly for this shot. 

April 19, 2012

Even my teeth are tired

I just realized that I work a lot!  I put in a good 11 hours a day with Alivia.  With my husband working every other weekend, sometimes there is no end in sight.  I rarely get any breaks.  Alivia stopped napping almost completely about 4 months ago.  She'll have the occasional nap, maybe twice a week if I'm lucky, but only for 30 to 45 minutes.  Since she will not take naps in her crib, I have to take her for a ride in the car which, let's face it, isn't exactly a break for me.  In fact, when I'm tired, it's more of a daunting task than anything else.  I've actually had internal arguments with myself (no, I don't hear voices or anything) to stay put in fear of falling asleep behind the wheel.  I'm just grateful that she is such a fantastic sleeper at night.  She goes to bed, very willingly I might add, around 8:00pm and doesn't wake up until around 7:30 or 8:00am where she'll keep herself entertained until around 9:00am or so.  I know, it's unheard of right?  So I guess it's not a complete pity party.  I mean I do get to wake up late.  That's good.  No, seriously Elena, that's good.  Yeah, I'm trying to convince myself.  I don't know what's wrong with me today.  I'm just super exhausted.  Alivia has been extra whinny and it seems like just about everything and anything makes her cry these days.  I swear she cries just to hear herself.  What's worse is when I try to console her.  She pushes me away and lays belly down on the floor and has minor meltdowns.  I say "minor" only because I am VERY realistic and know how much worse they could be.  I'm sort of just sitting back and waiting for it to happen.  So with Alivia being extra whinny, needy, and cranky, the housework has fallen to the wayside and I can't help but to feel down.  It's weird how when I'm working harder than ever, I've got nothing really to show for it.  In fact, if I were Bob, I'd be wondering what the hell I'm doing around the house all day!  Of course, he knows better!  He also knows that I do work incredibly hard.  I guess my work will show when Alivia grows up to be a well rounded, well adjusted, smart, happy, kind, mindful, well mannered, adult.  In the meantime, I think both Bob and I would agree that Alivia comes first which is exactly what I've been putting her.

April 18, 2012

Joshua's Photo Link Up

Here is my submission for Joshua's Photo Link Up over at Our Footprints On the World.  Be sure to head over there and link up your shots as well!
 
Rules & Info
- Must include your little one(s) somewhere in the picture.
- Only use photographs that you yourself have taken.
- You can use anything to take your photo's even your mobile phones.
- Link up this weeks post and not your main blog URL.
- Be sure to visit a few of the other entries
- We would appreciate a link back to us using the button above or just a link.
- Entries open on Wednesday and close on Monday night.
- You can help choose a winner by 'liking' your favourite shots.
 

New Pics... Wordless Wednesday (my sleeping beauty)

I love Wednesdays, 'cause I feel like I can get away with a textless (it's a word) post or in this case a post with less text.  Don't get me wrong I love to write but, seriously, sometimes it's just exhausting.  Exhausting trying to find an interesting topic, worrying if I spelled everything correctly, and whether I used proper grammar.  And speaking of exhaustion...

Let me introduce you to My Sleeping Beauty.

April 17, 2012

New Pics... Weekend Fun

We lucked out this weekend.  The weather was beautiful so we took advantage!  We packed up the car and took Alivia to see her Uncle Erik, Auntie Nancy and Mackenzie.  We spent most of the day outside in their yard soaking up the sun.  It's funny, but usually I get more pictures of Mackenzie than I do Alivia.  Mackenzie is a little older and will pose for the camera which is a refreshing change from running around trying to get candids of a rapidly moving toddler.  This time, however, she was more interested in playing with Alivia than posing for her Auntie so I ended up with only a handful of pictures.  Little did I know that later I would come to realize that my camera settings may have been perfect to take pictures of Alivia, but not so much of Mackenzie.  Where Alivia's skin seemed properly exposed, parts of Mackenzie's skin (mostly of her face) were over exposed and blown out.  Makes sense since Mackenzie is a few skin shades lighter than Alivia.  I can't help being disappointed but I know there will be many other opportunities to take pictures of her smiling face in the future!  Besides, I've gotten some amazing shots of Mackenzie in the past that I've posted on my site.  Anyhow, I attached the four pictures of Mackenzie at the very bottom of this post.

On a different note, I'm really excited to share the animated GIF of Alivia going down the slide.  I took a series of pictures (click after click) of Alivia going down the slide.  I then uploaded them to Glickr and it creates the html code for you to copy and paste into your post.  My only complaint is that within the conversion from JPEG to GIF, the quality of your image suffers tremendously.  You can't see it badly in my attachment because I opted to keep it only 300 px wide.  If you choose to increase the size, the worse the image appears.  Sort of a bummer, I know, but still fun!  I'll have to do some research to find the best animated GIF creator.  I'll be sure to share my results in a future post!

April 13, 2012

You don't scare me Friday the 13th!

I used to think Friday the 13th was such a scary day.  It was bad luck and nothing good could come from it.  You could say I am a little superstitious.  You'll find me knocking on wood after almost everything I say and you'll never catch me saying things of this nature:

"We will not hit traffic"  (start hitting your breaks now and be prepared to be late)
"The weather has been terrific"  (seriously, you are just asking for rain)
"I have a fast metabolism"  (you may as well start the diet now 'cause that Italian pastry is going straight to your ass)
"I'm never sick"  (call in sick now; you are going to catch the flu, stomach, and any other major or minor virus that is going around)
"I don't feel pregnant"  (just stick your head in the toilet bowl and hire someone to hold your hair back)
"I don't burn in the sun"  (stock up on the Aloe Vera gel now while you are still able to move all of your limbs)
"The lines aren't bad"  (bring a book, listen to your IPOD, draft a post or something, 'cause you, my friend, are going to be waiting for a long time)

Shoot. Edit. Submit.

It's that time again.  I'm linking up to the Shoot. Edit. Submit. photo challenge over at Mom Tried It.  This is my absolute favorite picture of the week.  I wanted a creative shot so I took it lying tummy down on my mother's outside balcony.   Not even sure if balcony is the correct word since it's only about 2 1/2 feet off the ground.  Anyhow, if you can imagine, I was looking through the bottom of where the side wooden slats meet up with the floorboard.  Alivia was on the grass below keeping busy.  Surprisingly, I didn't even have to call her over.  She saw Mommy on her tummy and must have thought that was interesting enough to come right over.  She *smooshed her nose right up against the floorboard and SNAP, I got this shot!  She is a silly goose I tell ya!  She makes me giggle.

*Every time I use this word, spell check picks it up.  So apparently it's not a real word?  Seriously?  Even spelled with a 'u' like smushed is not a word?  I say it's a word, so there!

April 12, 2012

Getting a little personal

I wanted to share something a little personal today.  I thought maybe others in similar circumstances may benefit from it.

Do you find yourself worrying a lot? If so, you have to ask yourself if they are realistic worries. Also, if it is a worry that you can do something about? It just doesn't make any sense to worry about things that you can't do anything about. It's only going to cause stress, anxiety, and possibly depression.  The physical effects of worry don't stop there either.  It just isn't healthy.

April 10, 2012

The Missing Link

Have you ever felt like something was missing from your life?  Well, it could just be one of the links below.  Hence my post title!  You may ask yourself "Is she serious?"  Well the answer is "No, I'm definitely NOT serious."  I'm just feeling silly.  Seriously though, I thought I'd share some of my favorite links with you in an effort to spread the love.  What's better is that I thought I'd make this post a weekly thang!  No that isn't a typo.  I told you I was feeling silly.  So the links below may not complete your life, but I'm hoping they, in some way, add to it.  I separated them into categories for easy navigation.  I hope you enjoy them as much as I have. 

Photo Feedback

It's that time again!  For Photo Feedback over at Mom Tried It that is!  I wanted to link up a different picture this time around!  I usually submit a photo of Livvy, but this time I'm submitting a picture of one of my favorite flowers; the tulip!  The color of these tulips were amazing!  They were our centerpiece on Easter Sunday at my sister's house.  I don't have much experience with shooting flowers, but I thought this picture wasn't half bad.  In fact, I'm really loving it!  I didn't do much post processing.  I adjusted the exposure to brighten it slightly and boosted the contrast to make it pop.  I'm curious to see what you all think.

April 9, 2012

New Pics... Easter Sunday

So how was your Easter?  We had a fantastic Easter!  It was a very low key (just how we like it) day spent at my sister's house.  We enjoyed a great Sunday dinner (leg of lamb), deliciously sweet desserts (cheesecake, red velvet cupcakes, apricot cookies, etc.), bright tulip centerpieces, our traditional egg game, a little one (Livvy) running around excitedly, but mostly, joyful conversation and spending time with family! 

The weather was a little cooler than we had hoped, but I really shouldn't complain.  In the past, we've had snow on Easter.  Yes, sad but true!   We were just lucky enough to be able to wear our Spring gear.  I should be more specific.  I was lucky that Livvy was able to wear her new, and ridiculously adorable, Easter dress (that was nearly sleeveless) without freezing her little diapered bum off.  I had been waiting over a month to see her in this dress!  I used a sweater to cover her arms for the five seconds it took us to walk from the car into my sister's house.  Thank heavens she is naturally warm anyway.  Would you believe, by midday, she was running around barefoot with just a shirt on?  Oh the legs, those chubby legs, were such an eyeful that I could barely contain myself!  I used every opportunity that she ran by me to scoop her up and kiss those thighs! 

Getting shots was difficult as I was hell bent on NOT using my flash.  I could only up my ISO so much (to brighten the picture) without it looking noisy (grainy).  In desperation, I lowered my shutter speed (for more brightness) only making it almost impossible to get a crisp picture of my rapidly moving toddler.  I know, I have to get over this.  I can't believe I've actually  given up some great photo opportunities just because I do not want to use a flash.   I'll get over it, hopefully.

April 7, 2012

Shoot. Edit. Submit.

I'm linking up to the Shoot. Edit. Submit. photo challenge over at Mom Tried It. 

I don't get out much and when I do, it's always with my little one in tow.  With that said, it's rare that I get to take pictures of something other than my baby.  I'm not complaining by any means.  She is one of the cutest subject matters I've ever laid eyes on and the camera just loves her!  This past week, however, I was able to take some pictures of the tree in my backyard while still keeping an eye on Livvy as she paced the grass in front of me.  In person, the tree wasn't much to look at but I was happily surprised with the picture.  I didn't have to do much to process it which was great!  I brought out the colors a little more and boosted the contrast slightly just enough to make it pop!

April 4, 2012

New Pics... Her smiling eyes

These smiling eyes,


This smooshed up nose,


and this wide open mouth,


are just some of the things that make up the little face that
I absolutely couldn't live without seeing everyday!

This isn't exactly a Wordless Wednesday but more of a Less Words on Wednesday. 
I usually have lengthier posts.

Linking up to:


and
 then, she {snapped}

April 3, 2012

New Pics... A filling or two

Today's weather was pretty decent.  It started out in the 40's and by the afternoon was around 55 degrees.  Too bad I had to spend it in the dentist chair away from my baby.  I went in to have a filling and came out with two.  If that's not enough, I still have one more that needs to be filled.  That's right, 3 freakin' cavities!  Shame on me!  I have a sweet tooth and apparently I'm paying for it!  I still have NOT learned my lesson.  I will NOT cut out sweets, I'll just have to start flossing more.  I guess brushing right after a pecan turtle wouldn't hurt either.  Anyhoo, after my appointment, I rushed to my sister's to pick up Alivia.  It had only been an hour and a half and I was dying to see her cute little face.  When I finally arrived at my sister's house, Alivia greeted me with the cutest "Hi Mama!"  Her face lit up and she gave me a BIG smile.  I guess she missed me too.  With the left half of my face numb from the Novocaine I could barely manage to smile back.  What's worse is that I couldn't even pucker my lips to give Alivia a kiss.  I had to settle on just leaning in and grazing her forehead.  I was disappointed I couldn't feel the warmth or the softness of her skin.  I couldn't feel anything.  Thank God it was only temporary, but I never imagined the numbness would have lasted the entire day.  What would I do without being able to kiss my baby?  I'd take pictures and that's exactly what I did!  It held me off until around supper time when I could start to feel my cheek, nostril and lips again.  Alivia was in trouble now.  I showered her with kisses, than more kisses, and even more kisses after that.  I only stopped to write this post ;o)

Hope you enjoy the pictures as much as I enjoyed taking them!

April 2, 2012

New Pics... A Peanut for Easter?

I just took these pictures today.  This is the dress and shoes that my mom bought Alivia for Easter!  It is absolutely gorgeous in person, not sure the pictures do it justice.  We bought it from Garnet Hill and it is made my Hopscotch Designs.  The material is fabulous and it is completely lined underneath.  Although a little difficult to get on over the head, okay more like impossible, it was easy enough to let her step into it and pull it up like a pair of pants.  Now I'll just have to pray the weather is cooperative this weekend so that we will all be comfortable in our Spring gear.  I don't have much faith, but we'll just have to wait and see I guess.

Photo Feedback

I love Photo Feedback over at Mom Tried it as I learn the most from this challenge!  This week I attached another favorite of Alivia.  The lighting in this picture is fantastic!  Her catch lights are amazing and her yellow shirt, I feel, really compliments her skin tone.  The white part on the left side of this photo is the leg of her high chair.  I would have removed it if I thought it was distracting, but I don't feel it is.   How about you?  I look forward to  hearing your thoughts!  Don't be afraid to really let me have it as I always welcome critiques.  I can't wait to see all of your submissions too! 

April 1, 2012

My Baby's Eyes (Intermittent Exotropia)

I'm linking up to The Paper Mama photo challenge.  The theme this week is Eyes!  I couldn't think of a better picture to submit.  I love Alivia's hair pulled back this way; it really showcases those eyes of hers!  Although the color of her eyes is gorgeous (hazel, like her daddy), something about this black & white just works!

Speaking of eyes, we've recently learned that Alivia has intermittent exotropia which is a form of strabismus.  This is when one of the eyes acts independently from the other.  In her case, her left eye drifts outward when looking at far away objects.  When I first brought her in to see the Pediatric Ophthalmology Specialist at Children's Hospital in Boston, about 2 months ago, I was seeing her eye do this about 6 times a day.  Recently, however, it has gotten increasingly worse.  Now I was seeing it about 3-6 times an hour!  Apparently, when the eye acts independently, it is not communicating with the brain.  This is a scary thought!  The eye becomes weaker and the vision starts to deteriorate.  In absolute worse cases, the vision can be lost completely.  When this happens, it is called amblyopia or lazy eye. 
 
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