Saturday, October 31, 2009

Park Pictures

Well, while I wait for my pictures to upload, let me tell you that I just got back from Where the Wild Things Are and it was, easily, one of the top five best movies I've ever seen. Like, EVER! There was this one stupid part where Max climbs into one of the monster's mouths, but other than that, it was one of the most magical movies ever, I'm totally serious. It was like...being a child again. Being in your mind as a child, but with adult perspective. It's hard to explain, but trust me, go see it. I'd never steer you wrong :)

All right, got the pics on the computer, now I just have to wait to upload them to blogger. I miss my superfast work computer! Not that I blogged at work, if anyone from work is reading this. I only conducted proper NMCP business on those computers during working hours :)

These pics are (obviously) from a park. Now, I'm not really a take-your-kids-to-the-park kinda mama. I know I should be, but it's just so boring! And in Virginia, it's either too hot, or too cold. But, now that I don't have a job or any sort of real hobby, I get a LITTLE bored in my house all day, so I told Scott we could head to "play park" after the baby woke up from his morning nap yesterday. Leave it to Warren to take a two and a half hour nap! But we finally got zipped up into our fleece jackets and off we went, just right around the corner. I can literally see this park from my front door. Almost. Think they could go by themselves? Calm down, I'm totally kidding. How I wish we were in the house right next door to that park. Cause ya'll, they'd be out there on their own every day, trust me!

Here's Ava and Scott with Charlotte, an almost replacement for poor Baby Nathan. She bought these new baby clothes with her own money (thanks Grandma Jane!) from Target, and I think they fit Charlotte better, so poor Nathan has sort of been left behind for the time being.
it's okay for boys to have baby dolls, right?

"Helping" Charlotte down the slides...look at that devilish little grin

Aren't they just the picture-perfect siblings?

Those big kids wouldn't stand still and let me take a hundred pictures in that perfect light. Weird, huh? So I dragged that baby out of his warm, cheerio covered stroller and made him sit for a while. What a beautiful baby, right?

And a surprise shot of Scott. Can't believe I got it! Again with that dang sunbeam thing. Anyone out there know how I can get rid of that? Is it a glare or something?

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Photography Mess

So I've had my amazing camera for at least six months, and I've made zero progress on learning to use it, beyond the AUTO button, which actually is pretty good. I went to this baby shower a few weeks ago and misread the invite, so I was thirty minutes early. Luckily, I figured it out before I parked in her driveway (and she was a stranger!) and made my way inside, so I drove around Noanke and Mystic for those thirty minutes while the baby slept. This was back in our War of the Nap Schedule, so it was not a fun time! Anyway, point being, I found this really nice park out there. Not really a park park, more like a...I have no idea. A bunch of trees on the side of the road, fenced off, with a few benches every now and then. Make sense?

So that day, I thought, gee, we should come out here and take some pictures. But being a napping Nazi, I actually very rarely take everyone out of the house at the same time. Too much work for my taste. But the seasons are changing FAST and I began to fear that by the time we made it out there the leaves would have all fallen off and we'd be left with tree trunks and dead sticks. Not so pretty. So into the van we climbed, and Nick trusted my directions to get us back to this park. And I did!

And, on the way, Ava threw up. That child has never thrown up in her life. And she threw up on the way to our photo shoot. We'd packed a change of jeans for Scott because he'd been having a few accidents over the busy weekend with Grandma Jane and the birthday, so we changed Ava into those, and zipped her sweatshirt up over her wife-beater undershirt and called it good.

So we park next to these rocks that I think the kids will play on, and we all climb out, and that's when I realize that it doesn't quite look how I want it to. First up, the trees are so tall that I can't get all the gorgeous yellow and orange and even PURPLE leaves in the shot. The trees are blocking the light from hitting us the way I want it too, and it's like too high in the sky or something. I dunno. Then add in the fact that I had just read in my new book how to make a blurry background and keep the kids in focus, but I remembered it wrong. Dad- something about the depth of field? I wanted a short depth of field, I think. Either way, I needed to use a LOW f-stop, but for some reason I thought I needed a HIGH one. So none of them turned out that way.don't you love the way she's peeking out from behind the baby?

Then we moved to the other side of the street, but for some reason I didn't see this horrible like, BEAM of light hitting the rock, so all these are bust too.

Long story short, I took 194 pictures that morning. After I got them on the computer, I deleted it down to 40. Of those 40, these are the best. And not one of them is what I was going for. When am I going to figure this out? Dad- teach me!!! And, worst of all, why didn't we get any shots of Grandma Jane with the kids? I literally didn't take ONE picture of her with them all weekend! Sorry Grandma!

Oh yeah, after that, we went into Mystic to try and get brunch before we took Grandma Jane to the airport. Let me tell you, that was its own disaster. I would retell it, but it will serious make me so mad that it'll ruin the rest of my day! It took us over and hour, and we finally ate right on the RI border. And wanna know something, remember that movie Mystic River? Was that here in this Mystic?

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Ava Nichole

Ava is four years old. I can barely believe it. At about this time (eleven o'clock) four years ago exactly, they were wheeling a little tiny bundle of blankets and pink into my room. Nick had already seen her, held her, rocked her in the nursery. I had briefly glimpsed her, all wrapped up and with her hat on, while I was on the table, and I remember thinking 'Oh, thank God she's pretty.' Shallow and superficial, yes, but also truthful. She was the most beautiful thing I had ever laid my eyes on! My biggest regret (seriously!) is that I was having some sort of panic attack because my epidural was all the way up to my ears and I felt like I couldn't breathe, so instead of gushing over her, I just blurted "Wow, that's my baby? I can't breathe!" and barely gave her another thought until I hit the recovery room. (Three and a half hours later). Ugh.

Since I didn't blog back then (what was I doing!!!???) I decided today to bombard ya'll with pics from those first few days. Seriously, she's so beautiful, you'll want to see these ;)

This was my last belly shot, about two weeks before she was born, three and a half before she was due. Ya'll, I thought I was HUGE! And for those of you who haven't seen me preggo with the boys, you probably think I was. PLEASE! I was that big the day I found out I was pregnant with Scott, he just grew to a forty pounder overnight. And Warren...sheesh.

This was my beloved nursery, which I still miss terribly. There will always be an ache in my heart for that perfect room. And this is before we painted it and Grandpa Kenny hung the wallpaper.

All right, now this next shot was at 2:43 in the morning, I'm laying in one of those little triage gurney, scared to death that the nurse is going to come in and tell me that I'm not in labor and I have to go home. When I woke up at one thirty, I thought I was literally going to die. I had NO IDEA it was going to hurt that bad! Seriously!!! And my habit is to cry when I get overwhelmed, so that's what I did. I guess Nick's habit is to take my picture while I'm crying. After being an L&D nurse for a year, I looked back on the pic and you can see that she's not doing too too great even then. Isn't that crazy? I know that everyone thinks doctors do too many c-sections, and I still wonder every now and then if I'm missing out by not having experienced a vaginal delivery, but my motto is, I certainly would rather they have cut her out than for her to be born retarded, or dead. So that's my theory on that one, in case you were wondering.

In my room, after that glorious little miracle they call the epidural. Again, knowing what I know now, the mask is never a good sign. I'm so glad I was clueless back then. This was 4:40, so it must have been right before they ran in a grabbed me, leaving poor Nick stranded alone in the room with no idea what was happening to his wife OR his baby.

Cut to 10:53 (according to the picture file) when they finally brought me my baby. Oh, my daughter. Isn't she just the most precious thing you've ever seen?

Our first family photo. Man, we were so clueless back then. I just want to shake that woman and say "Stop taking pictures and go to sleep now! You have no idea what an easy baby she is!!!

The day we were supposed to go home. I look happy because I have no idea that I'll be in that dang room for the next five days. Doesn't she look like a doll? And that's a PREEMIE dress because we figured that babies are small when they come out (we actually had no idea.)

When we finally did get her home, I cried for hours and tried to get Nick to take us back, where we were safe. What an idiot. Hormones, I blame the hormones.

So that's the abridged version of Ava's Birth Day. I love that little girl more than I ever thought I would love anything in the entire world.

Party Pics

Here they are, finally, the pics from Ava's party Saturday! Hooray! It was more of a neighborhood BBQ than an actual Princess Party, but if Ava noticed, she didn't let on. She had lots of little kids to play with, and Grandma Jane got her a crown to wear, so really, what else is there? And ya'll, I tried and tried to get her to want a Dora party instead, but she was absolutely dead-set on a Princess theme. Sigh.

Here is her cupcake cake. Now, she didn't really care about anything except she wanted 'white cupcakes with pink frosting.' So I told the lady that, and the lady said that she would airbrush the top of the cake with a pale Disney Pink. Ahhum. Does that look like PALE DISNEY PINK!!! Goodness, Nick's fingers are still stained!

Ahh, the pinata. The Pinata of Steel. We had some BIG KIDS, like at least nine years old, beating on this thing with a bat, and it barely even cracked! We finally had to help things along by tearing it at the windows...

Until this was all that was left!!!

So, all and all, a great party. Stay tuned for a more birthday-themed post. I gotta find the disc with the pictures of my sweet faced firstborn. And stop crying long enough to type.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Super Mom

Now, all you women out there who are already real mamas who take care of your kids all day on you. I'm very proud of you, blah blah blah, but that's not my life. That's not what I signed up for, that's not what I married Prince Charming for, and that's certainly not why I had three kids in four years for. If I hadn't married Nick, I never would have done this. I probably wouldn't have had kids at all. So stop saying that I'm 'lucky' or that I 'don't live in the real world' or that I have 'no idea what being a normal mom is like.' No, I don't! THAT'S WHY I MARRIED THE MAN THAT I MARRIED!!! DUH!

Anyway, all that to say, today I took all three kids to the doctor for the big kids' school physicals. I can literally count on one hand (actually, three fingers) the number of times I've taken all three kids anywhere by myself. We're homebodies, and that's the way I like it. I don't want to run around all day every day for different play dates and story times and shopping and this and that and the other. Gag me! My kids are big nappers, and we like being at home. So that's where we hang out.

BUT, they needed their physicals to stay in preschool, and even I'm not stupid enough to risk no preschool, so into the van the four of us went, along with a diaper bag, a Vera Bradley tote for my paperwork, wallet, phone, and the DVD player, and a bag for each of the big kids filled with toys, notebooks, and snacks. Phew! I'm exhausted already! We went to the library first because we had about forty five minutes of dead time between preschool and the appt, and that was so fun! They have all kinds of toys and stuff, and all three of them played while I read a Redbook. Not too shabby!

The appt went smoothly, Ava weighs 32lbs and is 38 inches tall, and poor Scott is 31lbs and 34 inches tall. I'm not saying that he's built like his Daddy...but someone else might say that. Just not me :) She wouldn't let Ava get her four year shots because she won't be four until tomorrow (same thing happened at twelve months, and they assured me then that twelve months was the only time where it was that specific) but Scott needed a shot that we skipped sometime in Norfolk and the flumist. He did AMAZING, he let the HN shoot that crap right up his nose (he punches Nick in the face when Nick tries to irrigate with a saline spray) and he only cried for a little bit with the shot.

THEN I had to wait at the pharmacy! And everyone was fine! We all survived, no one cried, we didn't use any of the toys I packed, and I didn't pull out Dora until we were settled at the pharmacy because I knew it was going to be a while.

On a not as great note, the baby ate my Blackberry and now the keyboard is on the fritz. All the letters are keying in wrong, the delete and enter keys aren't working at all, and it is currently frozen in stanby and on the messenger screen. Not too sure what I'm gonna do about that, but ya'll- I'm on that thing ALL DAY LONG! And we don't have a house phone, so what if I have an emergency? Sheesh. All right. Birthday party pics are coming later.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Gymnastics and a Long Overdue Haircut

Ava does gymnastics every Saturday morning. Now, come on, it's not like those gyms that you see on the Lifetime movies where the girls are training for the Olympics and they all have eating disorders and the moms slash each others tires in the parking lots. It's a city gym, with a bunch of scraggly preschoolers whose mothers are trying to get some energy out of the little terrors so that they can have peaceful weekends. It's totally fun, not at all psycho.

The teacher, Ms. Marsha, let us all stay on the bleachers for the very first lesson (when I didn't have a camera) but ever since then, she always asks us to leave after the kids get on the mats. I certainly never put up a fight- forty five minutes with my feet up in the front lounge, reading a book or my EW? Check. But Grandma Jane wanted to see Ava in action, so she asked if we could stay, they of course said yes, and I finally got some pics! Man, sure wish I had that zoom lens...(hint hint for Christmas Grandpa Matt :) ).
After gymnastics yesterday, we headed into Mystic (so cute!) to get a haircut at the Crewcuts and Curls before the big PARTY! Ya'll know I like her hair short, so it shouldn't be that surprising. What is surprising is the price I paid for a three year old's haircut. And I can only call her that for three more days!!!!