Thursday, March 31, 2011

Photo day

Let me start by saying these are all Ethan. I feel bad for posting so many of him and so little of Dylan. But Dylan does not like when I take his picture. It is hard to get anything of him. Once I get the camera out, he makes it his mission to avoid me. Really, I do feel guilty.
This picture below shows Ethan sitting in one of his toys. You are supposed to run little cars down the ramp, then it spins around and shoots the cars out the other side. From the moment we brought it home, he has always plopped his butt into that thing. He will just sit. I don't know if he wants to spin in it, or what, but its pretty funny.

These next 2 were taken with in a few minutes of each other. Pretty similar if you ask me!

His tongue is out quite a bit, which always leads to a wet shirt from all of the slobber.

This is his concentration face.

So sweet!

Let's Play Ball!

Today is opening day for our Cincinnati Reds. I've never been to an opening day. They always sell out. I'm sure the atmosphere is awesome on opening day. Now the Reds aren't the greatest team in baseball, but that's just fine with me. I don't watch every game that is broad casted (not all of them are). But I do enjoy watching the evening games. I love going to the stadium. There is just something about the atmosphere in a ballpark. Its fun and relaxing. The sounds are different, the smells are unique. A few years ago the Reds built a new stadium. They say that there isn't a bad seat in the house. We have sat in 3 different areas, and so far, I must agree with that statement. Its nice that you can get a cheap seat, and still see the action on the field without having to look at the jumbo tv in the corner. Ryan and I enjoy going to games. We can usually only manage 1 or 2 games a year. Between finding a sitter for the kids, and really having the time to go, it can be a bit difficult. Ryan works a lot. But you should already know that. Really, you should, because I say it at least twice a week. Baseball season also usually means warmer weather. Well not today. Temps will barely get out of the 30s today. That's not baseball weather, its football weather. I can take or leave football...and its weather. I prefer baseball and its weather. Are you a baseball fan? If you haven't had the chance to get to a Major League game, try. The local team doesn't have to be good for the experience to be worth it. Go out and support them and maybe you'll find a new fun activity to do every once in a while.
Opening day just makes me wish for spring even more. The dreary winter weather is getting sickening. I know I live in Ohio, and just because it is Spring doesn't mean that it will feel like spring. I also realize that there are places colder than us right now. But still, you get my point.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

So..its Wednesday

Busy morning. Appointments, errands. Now its snowing. Its been snowing. Winter is over. It is supposed to be spring. I'm tired. I have a headache. Ok all of that is out of the way. Ryan's mom brought Dylan back this morning. He enjoyed himself. He seems very tired. Too much fun I guess. I'm glad he had a good couple of days. Now back to sharing the spotlight.
Dropped off all of our Goodwill stuff. Now I need to finish getting the rest of it together. Hopefully I can take it out there on Monday. That's the goal anyway. We'll see. A third of it is washed. Another third is not. Another third is still in the dressers. If I had it my way there are so many things in this house that we would take up there in addition to all of those clothes. But Ryan hates to part with things. Even if he hasn't used it in years.

So yeah. Things are pretty boring right now. We had a busy couple of days, but now we are slowing down. Nothing on the agenda for quite some time.

I haven't made any posts about dinner in a while. Its been pretty uneventful there too. Although, I should have taken pictures of the burritos from the other night. They were kind of pretty! Oh well. Last night was pizza! Yay for pizza! Tonight hamburgers. I'm not sure what I am making along side though. Oh, and I found a method or recipe I guess, for making smores indoors! I bought all the stuff, and hope to get to them one evening this week. I will show you all of that. Should be interesting.

Ending with a couple of pictures from this week.

Dylan. He's my emotional one.

Ethan. He's my troublemaker.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011


Ryan's mom and dad volunteered to take Dylan last night and today! I love it when people volunteer! So today I tried to get a few things done that I have been putting off. I didn't get everything done that I wanted to, but I tried. I managed to get clothes together and packed up for a trip to Goodwill. I cleaned out what was on the hangers and shelves in our closet. I gathered up what Ethan had out grown, along with a some of his baby blankets. We had gotten so many blankets between the boys it was crazy. I kept a whole plastic tote full, that I can't bear to part with.

That is what I have ready to go. There are still 2 clothes baskets full of stuff that was on the bottom of our closet. I want to wash it again before it goes. So I will finish and take those another day. Same with the clothes in our dresser. We haven't used the dresser for years. Its full of stuff we cant wear anymore. Basically between Ryan and I there are over 7 years of clothes that need to go. Some stuff is in a throw away pile due to small holes or little stains.

Ethan wasn't the most cooperative child today. All of the gathering, folding and bagging took much much longer than it should have because he hates it when I get busy. I don't know why. He just gets fussy.

Its 1 pm now. I need to eat lunch.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Very random thoughts

Crap! I just found out that Sean Casey, the guy who did the Tornado Alley film I told you about, was in Cincy today! He and his TIV (if you watch Storm Chasers you know what that is) are there until 5:30. Too bad I don't have the chance to go all the way down there. That would have been cool to meet him and get pictures of the TIV. I'm a dork, yes.

Last night I made the Cajun Pork Chops again. Only this time, left out the cayenne pepper. I totally missed it! Do not leave out the cayenne pepper. It's a must. Tonight I think will be beef burritos with refried beans and chips and salsa. That's the plan anyway.

We have a few things to do this afternoon, so I just thought I would post quickly. The boys are doing well. Sleeping well, eating well. Dylan has kind of been a little turd lately, but its just a stupid phase he is going through. I'm hoping it will be over soon. Ethan is a great example of "monkey see, monkey do." So when Dylan does something, Ethan is sure to follow. I have had my hands full this last week or so.

Sunday evening I sat down and went back through some of our older photos. I came across one of my brother at bootcamp. My mom and I made the drive all the way out to Oklahoma to be at his Bootcamp Graduation. We showed us around to the dorms after the ceremony. Anyway, I took this photo while he was getting into some of his stuff. Straight out of the camera, it was just a bad picture, but I started messing with it to see what I could do. There was actually a treatment called WWII on my computer. So I applied that to it, cropped it, and added some film grain.

Then I softened everything but the head and shoulders, and added more film grain and lightened it.

Blogger Award

I was given the Stylish Blogger Award by a fellow mom blogger, Bear's Mom. Thank you! To accept the award, you are asked to do a few things. Link back to the blogger who awarded you, share 7 things about yourself, pay it forward and award 10-15 other blogs with the award, and let those bloggers know that you gave them the award. The hardest part I found with doing this is paying it forward. Yeah, I read a lot of blogs but I also didn't want to give it again to someone who has had it recently. Apparently I read some really stylish blogs, haha! I picked a few blogs that I recently started reading.
Our House of Pink
Thoughts from this Mom
Best of Our Love True Life:I'm a Stay at Home Mom
3 Men and a Mommy
Cluster Love
Ky Klips
Now, 7 things about me...hmm

1. Im not a very patient person. I try to be, but I'm not.

2. I love to travel, and see new places. We have been to quite a few places and try our best to see things. Time is out biggest enemy when it comes to travel. Just too much going on.

3. I watch the news every evening. I like to be aware of what is going on in the world around me.

4. I am not a morning person. I'd rather not talk when I first get up. I just want to be left alone until I can wake myself up enough.

5. I could eat pizza everyday if you'd let me.

6. I love emeralds. My birthstone is an emerald, and I think they are absolutely beautiful. I want a big honkin emerald on my finger one day.

7. I love 70 degree days. A day in the 70s with little or no wind is a perfect day to me. I can wear jeans and a t-shirt and be comfortable. If I could pick my weather, thats what it would be. Thanks!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Painting...with light

I recently started following another photography blog. I love photography blogs. Anyway, on the blog was pictures and a tutorial for light painting. She explained it well enough for me to manage a few shots. It was fun. I was home by myself, so there was a lot of back and forth between shots. The cat and the dog were freaked out by the events. Anyway, I don't have a tripod, so I used the back of a recliner. I set my shutter speed to a 10 second exposure, put my aperture to 22 and used the 10 second timer on the camera to get in front of it before it snapped. Here are my results.

My first attempt. I made a circle.

Then I tried to make a heart

This one turned out better

I wanted to spell "mom". Not so much though.

A little better...

This was my last attempt. I gave up and went to bed. I was tired.

Basically it was me in a dark living room, with a flashlight. Go to mcdougall photography to check out the tutorial and her awesome pictures. She got much better results.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Fire! (In my mouth)

So I got a little help from a box for last night's dinner. I am always hesitant of box dinners. This one included, rice, and different seasonings. You had to buy the chicken separately. Really it was so simple. I cooked up the rice in one pan, and the chicken in another. Just mix, and cook.

Part of the directions said that if you'd like more spice, then lightly crush the packet of chilies provided to release the seeds. I like my food spicy, so I though, "Oh, that will be good." So before I added the chilies I crushed them a little. Finished making the sauce and plated my dinner. We sat down to eat, and I thought that my lips were going to fall off. My mouth was on fire, and my lips were tingling! Note to self: Do NOT crush the chilies! The rice did help to mellow it out, but holy crap batman, there were still flames. Having said that, I would totally make this again! It was great. I just won't be crushing those chilies, haha!
Ryan and I were the only ones who ate this. Dylan can't have rice. So I cooked up some of the chicken separate for the boys and roasted a sweet potato. Really it wasn't any extra work, so it didn't seem like a big deal to make something separate for them.
Ryan is working today. All day. I hate when he works this much. Its really hard having NO help at all for days. It takes a lot out of me at times. Today being one of these days. Thankfully though, the boys are napping and I get a bit of peace and quiet.
Winter is still here. It is so stinking cold out today. Its windy, it is supposed to snow tonight too. It is supposed to be spring. But I guess no one told Mother Nature that. Well this is me tellling the old woman that it is SPRING not WINTER!

Friday, March 25, 2011


Its been a day. Or maybe I should say its been a week. The boys have just been driving me insane. They are both into everything, they have frequent grumpy spells, and are driving me insane! (Did I already say that?)
We went out to dinner last night. It was nice to get a break from cooking and doing a mound of dishes afterwards. The boys were shockingly well behaved. I think they were both happy to be out of the house. I know I was. Ethan and I shared a dinner of prime rib and veggies. Dylan had his own, he was given a choice and chose a hot dog of all things. Silly boy. I know we are supposed to be in a recession, so I was surprised when the restaurant ended up being packed. We got in right away and were seated. By the time we placed our order, the lobby was filled with people waiting on a table. It looked like a Saturday night in there. When we got home, Ethan was ready for bed.
Well I had all sorts of motivation for a blog post but that's gone now. I'm tired. But I do want to share a couple of pictures from today.
Busted: Ethan attempting to use the computer. He is obsessed with the machine.

Busted: The cat. He is looking for food that Ethan may have dropped during lunch. I don't know if he found anything or not.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Pardon the Interuption, but...

I am linking up to another blog to show one of my photos. If you haven't been here in a couple of days, please scroll down and read the last posts...or 2. Thanks!
Anyway, I am joining
and then, she {snapped}

and showing this picture of Ethan.
I cropped it a bit, and just increased the saturation to bring out his skin tones. Very simple on this one.

Dinner and a Storm or 2

I finally gave Polenta a shot last night. I'm still undecided on it. Anyway, you boil it up and cook it. Then I went from there and made Polenta Cakes. So you needed to pour it into a casserole dish and let it set up and chill for a couple of hours. After that, you use a circle cookie cutter to cut it out and saute it. I think it would be good if I could season it better. So I will be on the lookout for other recipes.
Here is the polenta after it was chilled:

Then after being sauteed. It tried to fall apart on me!

Ryan made brownies last night too. But he made me do the icing for it. The brownies were good, but a bit 'cakey' for what we like. Definitely needed the icing. I didn't have enough powdered sugar for a butter cream icing, so I made a fudge icing. Turned out really nice.
Yesterday we also had a couple of storms roll through. Thankfully it wasn't anything major. But I got some wonderful pictures of the clouds. Really the pictures don't do the sky any justice. It was amazing.
Looking west as it moves in.
Can you see the swirl in the clouds? Luckily, it was moving up and not down.
Looking north, which is where the worst of the storm was.

Looking east.

Watching it leave
It was different that's for sure. Off to the south, the sun kept coming out, so the clouds would change color. At one point the sky was a very odd green.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


Last night Ryan made dinner so that I didn't have to. I had sent him a text late afternoon saying something about having no motivation to cook dinner. Really it was a hint to get pizza. But he didn't pick up on that. So he made what I was planning on making. Just hamburgers. So at least I didn't have to do that last night. I'm still unsure what we are having tonight. Guess I need to make up my mind.
While I am in the kitchen making lunch, or dinner, the boys are usually in and out, wondering around. Most of the time Ethan is parked on the floor tearing apart my Tupperware cabinet. Not too long ago, it was all organized and nice. I could actually pull something out of it without creating an avalanche of plastic. Not so much anymore. Everyday he would pull some out. Then I would have to wash it before I put it back in the cabinet, because in true Ethan fashion, he would chew on it. I was getting very frustrated with it. Tripping over it, stepping on it, washing it, then putting it away for the millionth time. So while he was working his magic the other day I was putting my Tupperware into tote bags as he was pulling it out of the cabinet. So now my Tupperware cabinet has become this:

2 tote bags located on the dining room table. I saved a few pieces that I use regularly and let them take up permanent residence on my counter. So the Tupperware cabinet is nearly empty and Ethan can now crawl into the cabinet. At least I'm not stepping on it anymore.
I was working on some photos that Ive taken recently, and came across another one from when we went to Vegas. So I stopped what I was doing with the other photos and worked on making this one better. It is a picture of Lake Mead. It was kind of dull straight out of the camera. So I did my best to bring out the colors of the rocks with out overexposing the sky above them. I remember taking this picture. We were far from the shore you see in the photo. I had to zoom in quite a bit. Isn't that sky lovely? We had such nice weather that whole week. Anyway, I also added a texture to the photo. If I was going to get it printed, I would print it without the texture, but I like it on the screen this way.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Tornado Alley

I mentioned a week or 2 ago that I finally went to the doc and was told I have psoriasis. Remember? Well the medicine that he gave me is drastically improving the condition. At least it doesn't hurt anymore. I feel the difference, and am so thankful for the improvement. Its not cleared up by any means, but it is manageable now. I can deal with it. I am supposed to use the meds for 2 weeks, then take a week break, and then start it up again and continue with that cycle. I am almost to my off time. I'm curious to see what is going to happen during this week. I hope it doesn't flare up like crazy.
We are supposed to have another nice day today. It rained a decent amount yesterday evening, so again, there is water laying. I wonder if we are ever going to dry out. We are supposed to get more rain tomorrow too. Tomorrow is also supposed to be our last 70 degree day for a while. I guess its time to get to more "seasonable" temperatures. I'm ready for the permanent warm up. Like late spring temps rather than this "its spring today, but winter is back tomorrow" stuff.
Have you ever seen a show on the Discovery Channel called "Storm Chasers"? Well remember they followed a team trying to make an Imax film? The film is out now! You can go and see it. I don't know how wide the release it and don't know its full schedule, but it is playing now at the Omnimax Theater in Cincinnati! I am so excited and want to go see it so bad! I hope that Ryan and I can have an opportunity to go down there and see it one day. The drive down there is just as long as the film itself. I think the film only lasts 45 minutes or so. But I am a weather fanatic, so this is pretty cool. Here is the link to the website about the movie : And from that site, here is a link to the trailer. It is less than 2 minutes long. Ryan of course is less than thrilled. I am more than thrilled! Yesterday was our first thunderstorm of the Spring season. It wasn't much. Just thunder and lightning and the sun came out immediately after. I like thunderstorms as long as they happen during the day, aren't capable of dropping a tornado on my house, and don't knock out my power for days. I like hearing the rain pound on the windows and roof, and hearing the rumbling thunder after the whole sky lights up with lightning.
Last nights dinner was a Turkey and Sage meatloaf, with creamy red potatoes and mushrooms (for Ryan). I hate mushrooms. Ick. Anyway. I just roasted the mushrooms in the oven while the meatloaf was cooking. The potatoes were from the cookbook "Fix it and Forget it." I don't think I will make them again. They were just ok. I much prefer the potatoes many other ways. The meatloaf is from a Rachael Ray recipe. You are supposed to serve it with an Asiago Cheese gravy. I didn't feel like going all out with the gravy, so I just skipped it this time and used a jar of turkey gravy. You do need something with it, because by nature it is dry. And honestly, the Asiago gravy is the way to go. I did miss it. If anyone wants the recipe, drop me an email, or a comment and I will send it to you.

Dylan is starting to get picky. Here and there I notice little thing that he says he doesn't like. Onions. He used to eat them, and not have a problem. Well if they are on pizza, he says he doesn't like them and will pick them off. And the meatloaf had shallots in them. He saw the bits and said "there's onion in here and I don't like onion." I told him they weren't onion and that it was shallots. He said "well I don't like shallots either." He will however eat the tiny little onions that are on a McDonald's hamburger. He makes no mention of onions then. Kids. Also, the last few times he has had coleslaw or salad he says he doesn't like the purple cabbage. He doesn't know what it is called, but he will pick out the purple slivers. He says they burn his mouth. I don't understand that statement, but that's how he describes it. Again, he used to eat it with no problem. And he still loves coleslaw, just without purple. So its not that he doesn't like cabbage. I think its just him being picky. I'm hoping it's just a phase and he will forget about it soon.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Photos...just one this time.

Another post. Sorry. I got bored and played around with that picture of Ethan that I showed you in today's previous post. Yes, that's right. I already posted today. So make sure you scroll down and read anything that you haven't seen yet. Please? Thanks!

Here is the original, right out of the camera

Here is the one I posted before. Its a softer, and a bit washed out edit. I do like it, but wanted more.

This is the one I like the best. Its vibrant and colorful.

That's all!

Random Thoughts

Both boys are so stinking grumpy today! Its a warm day out, but rather gloomy looking. Maybe that's why they are so crabby. I don't have much to add today. Tomorrow I hope to share pictures of tonight's dinner. Creamy Red Potatoes from the crock pot, and a Turkey and Sage Meatloaf. Should be yummy! Its been a while since I've made the meatloaf. And I have never made these potatoes.
I'm sharing a couple of photos I have been playing with. The first one is one of Ethan laying on the floor. I just happen to catch him on a down moment. Part of his noggin was in the sun. I think it made for a nice photo. I did edit it quite a bit. Some of it is softened, I softened the colors as well, because the sun was so bright. The second photo I took while we flying into Las Vegas. As we got closer, we got to see a lot of lovely landscape. Again it was edited. I brought out the colors and then again, added a 60's wash to it. I don't know why I like that look so much, but I do.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Weekend? What Weekend?

Well this weekend went too fast really. My life doesn't change much just because its a weekend, but usually Ryan is home on most weekends. I look forward to having back up a couple of days each week. So yeah, this weekend flew by. I was gone for a while on Saturday, Ryan and Dylan had a birthday party to go to in the evening. Today, Ryan worked.
The whole "Supermoon" thing wasn't all that super. For us at least. There was overcast, so it was fuzzy looking. I didn't stay up very late either to see if it cleared out. It was pretty once it came up over the horizon. It glowed a lovely orange-ish red. Our first day of spring was fairly warm. Breezy, cloudy and off and on rainy. Kind of typical spring if you think about it. At least in Ohio! I am looking forward to 70 degree days filled with sunshine. It will happen. I just need to be patient. A few weeks ago I noticed at dusk and on into dark, that the Spring Peepers were already out. I don't know if there are any around you, but you would know it if there were. They are loud. But there is something that I really love about hearing them. It almost is a peaceful sound. To me anyway. I could sit outside by a campfire and listen to those things all evening. I guess it just means better, warmer weather is on its way. If you would like to see a Spring Peeper or hear one, please click HERE. I tried to find something I could download, but I couldn't so you will have to click. There is a small map, and right below that small map is a button you can click to hear them. I have never actually seen one. If you walk close to them, they stop their noises, so I would never be able to find one. They only come out at dusk and beyond.
There is so much stuff I want to get done around here. It just keeps getting more and more difficult to get it done. Seems like someone is always whining, crying, hungry, mad, screaming, or bickering. Honestly. One room a day is a near impossible task at times. And I think I'm getting into a dinner rut again. I'm losing motivation or my inspiration to cook new things. We are getting into the same ol same ol again. I need to snap out of it fast.
Well kiddos are in bed finally. Time to relax a bit and wind down. I am adding a picture of a place I can't wait to get back to in August. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina!

Friday, March 18, 2011


Holy crap Batman. It has just been one of those days. It has been long. It has been frustrating. It has been exhausting. Ethan did not nap this morning. He did have about 45 minutes of quiet time in his crib, but that was it. I was doing my best to get some things done around here. Did not happen. I spent what seemed like forever this morning in the kitchen attempting a deep clean of every surface. I managed less than half. Ethan just was not having it. So I gave up. Put the boys down for their naps. Ethan slept an hour. He woke up screaming, so I don't know if he had a bad dream or what. I tried putting him back down, but he never did go back to sleep. He lasted another 40 minutes or so in his crib quietly entertaining himself though.
The evening began is apparently going to end in a massive headache. Ryan has been gone all day and evening. He was almost home, when the fire department got called out on an accident, so he went. I managed fixing dinner, but it seemed to take forever. Really it didn't and it was a simple dinner, but it felt like an eternity. The boys have been off today. Neither being happy very long, neither wanting to play with the other.
Why do days like these take such a toll on me? Its not like they happen all the time, but when they do, it really wears me down. If it wasn't raining, Id go for a walk. In the dark. By myself. I'm so glad today is almost over. Time to go to bed. Reset. Start over. Begin a better day.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

More edits

I wanted to share a few more edits that I have done recently. I get into a phase of wanting to do them, and enjoying them. Then eventually I get frustrated trying to get a certain look to them, and can't get it right. I ran into that with one of the photos I did this morning. I don't know what type of look I was wanting, but knew that I was just not getting it. But I am pretty pleased with what I have here. Again, I hope the colors aren't too off on your computer! I hope you can see what I see!

This one is from the Valley of Fire State Park outside of Las Vegas Nevada. We drove up there on our vacation out there a few years ago. They only thing I did with this one was to bring out the colors. The original picture didn't do the rocks or sky any justice. Those rocks were so red, and beautiful.

We went to a small zoo on a vacation to Myrtle Beach. They had peacocks walking around freely. This guy wanted to show off. Again, I just brought out the colors.

I enjoyed messing with this one. Taken on last year's Atlantic City vacation. I like the way this turned out.

Two of the boys from last year. Did a slight color treatment to it and the next one.

This is one I had getting right. It's not the look I was going for but it's ok.
One of my Aunts with Ethan last October. I love the sun in this photo. I just brought out the colors a bit more.
I hope that once this weather warms up more I can get out and take more photos like I would like to. I need a lot of practice. I see things all the time that I would love to photograph. The weather has just been so gloomy, gray and cold.
Dinners both last night and tonight are nothing special I'm not wasting time photographing and posting them.
Oh, and remember a while back when I said I was wanting to take pictures of the boys? Like good decent pictures to pass out to the fam? Well I am still working on that. I took a few of Ethan this morning. I'm not all that happy with them though. His hair was all over the place and would not stay put, haha! So we'll see. I still need to get more of Dylan.
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