Happy Halloween! (photos and weekend recap too)

Happy Halloween from the li’l ladybug (and me too). 😉

What’s everyone doing for Halloween?

Ava and I are heading over to Jody’s work in the afternoon. They’ve invited the kids to come up and do a little parade around the office. Plus, just outside of where he works is the “munchkin masquerade” each year, where all the local businesses hand out candy to the kids.

After that we are going to hang out with some friends, get pizza and play games. Should be a fun day! We were contemplating going to a kiddie Halloween party that a friend was throwing as well, but she (the hostess) came down with something and called it off anyway. It sucks that she’s sick, but it probably would’ve been too much for us to do in one day anyway.

I’m thinking about dressing up for the evening. I tried on a few things that I could come up just from my own closet tonight. I’m leaning towards going as a goth girl, though I might chicken out. I don’t want to scare any of the little kids. 😉 Jody’s going as a “bad ass.” He pulled out his old leather jacket, which combined with his bald head makes him look rather menacing.

We had a good weekend here. I exchanged the camera bag I bought last weekend for a bigger one (backpack style) and picked up a tripod. I also did some reading of “Understanding Exposure” while hanging out at Border’s (sans Ava and Jody) Friday night and read more of my camera manual last night and now have a basic understanding of shooting in manual mode. Yay! My pics aren’t really crisp, but they aren’t completely black anymore either. (Woot! Woot!)
Here’s something I made today after I caught Jody and Ava napping together on the couch.
Also got some cleaning/organizing done in the house today. I have a whole table full of things to either sell or give away. I’m really on this kick of needing to get rid of stuff we’re not using and/or won’t be using anytime soon. Hooray for decreasing clutter! Now I just need to start listing the stuff on Craigslist or Freecycle and hope it goes bye-bye.

Back to photography (sheesh, can’t shut me up about it, can you?), I got a few cool shots of a butterfly (who was kind enough to pose for me for a couple minutes while I figured out what mode to shoot in) and some flowers yesterday when the three of us went out for a lil walk in the neighborhood.

I’m totally enjoying playing with my camera and am looking into taking a photography class. There’s one being offered for digital photography at a local photo store, but I’m not sure if it’s what I’m looking for or not. I need to call and get more info. Oh, they are also doing an open photo show in November which I’m contemplating submitting a picture for. Anybody can enter, so why not, eh? Then I can say I’ve been featured in a photo show. 😉 hehe. Even if I don’t enter, I plan to go check out the show and see what other photographers in this area are doing.

Hope everyone has a fun and safe Halloween. 🙂

The lactating witch

Love this! Fun way to promote breastfeeding while celebrating Halloween. 🙂

Breastfeeding Witch Causing Stir In Vermont

(CBS4) BRATTLEBORO, VT One Halloween display in Vermont is causing people to look twice, and many can’t believe what they see.

David and Lauren Petrie of Brattleboro decked out their home for Halloween. But it’s not the pumpkins that are attracting attention. It’s “The Witch Lactation Station.”

That’s right. The Petrie’s holiday display features a breastfeeding witch, complete with a gourd breast and a baby witch doll.

“I would hope if witches have babies and the witches would have to feed their babies, they would nurse,” Lauren Petrie told the Brattleboro Reformer. “I am also advocating being comfortable with nursing in public.”

Some in town say the display is inappropriate, particularly because their kids are asking questions. Others can see the humor in it, and say it’s a great way to raise awareness of breastfeeding.

The Petries say they have no plans to take down the display. “We are having fun with it,” David Petrie told the Reformer. “My four kids were breast-fed and we believe it is the best way to feed a child.”

Breastfeeding Witch Causing Stir In Vermont

As for – “Some in town say the display is inappropriate, particularly because their kids are asking questions.” – Uh … so??? God forbid their kids ask questions. Breastfeeding is the natural way to feed a baby. That’s what boobs are there for. I’ll never understand that argument.

Sharing a few pics

The pics below were taken with my new camera a couple days ago at the park. Jody thinks they are awesome. Of course, he is the daddy (and husband), so go figure that he’s slightly biased. I’m too chicken to post them on the serious photography forum I visit, but I figured it was safe to post them here. 😉

Seriously though, I’m open to any and all constructive criticism. I won’t learn if I don’t know what to do differently. And I just have to say, it’s so hard to get decent shots of a 16-month-old who is ALWAYS on the go (and loves to hold sticks – in front of her face no less!).

Thanks for looking. 🙂

Baking fool

In between trying out my new camera, proofing pics and learning various things in Photoshop, I’ve been a baking fool the past couple days.

This weekend I baked and pureed three of the seven pie pumpkins we got at the farm a couple weekends ago.

Yesterday I made pumpkin cookies with a super easy (and low fat – I think!) recipe I found on All Recipes. I’ll post it below. The cookies are very moist and cake-like and perfect for a lil pumpkin I know who only has four teeth so far. (Is that cannibalism?) 😉 (On a side note, I don’t think she will have just four teeth for long. She’s been having trouble napping the past couple days and tonight seemed to be in quite a bit of pain from her teeth/gums. She’s doing better after some Tylenol and Maggie – the dog – time.)

Then tonight I baked two pumpkin pies (using the recipe on the condensed milk can). That was a bit more challenging, especially since I sloshed a bunch of the pie filling out onto the cookie sheet they were going to bake on. Jody suggested using a turkey baster to fill them back up (so I didn’t have to move the full crusts/tins around) and that worked much better. I have to remember that trick for filling them the next time I bake them. Maybe I’ll try to get an artful pic of them before they are consumed. 😉

Oh, and a couple days ago I baked the pumpkin seeds as well. A friend recommended putting cayenne pepper on them so I tried it out. It adds a nice kick and is something a little different than plain old salted seeds (though those are yummy too).

Now I have to figure out something to make with my other four pie pumpkins. I might try out some pumpkin bread or maybe some soup. Mmmmm. Those both sound like they’d be great frozen and reheated on a cold winter day. 🙂

Pumpkin Spice Cookies

1 (18.25 ounce) package spice cake mix
1 (15 ounce) can solid pack pumpkin (I used 2 cups pureed pumpkin)

1 Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease
cookie sheets.
2 In a large bowl, stir together the cake mix and pumpkin
until well blended. Drop by rounded spoonfuls onto the
prepared cookie sheet.
3 Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven. Allow
cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing
to a wire rack to cool completely.

Yield: 2 dozen cookies

I got it!

What you are looking at is my brand new camera! Yes, we managed to track down a store that had it in stock this weekend. (Thank God for Best Buy and their 18 months no interest financing!) I am now the proud owner of an Olympus Evolt E-500 – my very first SLR camera! 🙂

I’ve already taken hundreds of pics with it over the past few days, just trying to get a feel for it. I have so much to learn, but I like it so far. 🙂

I also received my first photo order today. Exciting! And all of my friends and family have been really encouraging about me starting up a photography business, which has been wonderful.

I have soooo much to do and learn before I really get it off the ground. I have a feeling I’m not going to be blogging much as the wheels are set in motion, though I’ll try to post periodic updates (and, of course, pics) and check out my blogroll when I can.

Thanks to everyone who’s supported me in this new endeavor. It feels awesome to have something I’m so excited about again (other than parenting stuff). 🙂

What’s goin on this weekend

Yesterday I did another photoshoot. This time for my friend and her family on her daughter’s first birthday. It was definitely more challenging to shoot six adults (mom, dad and two sets of grandparents) and one almost toddler than it was just two adults (and a baby on the inside). 😉 But I learned some things and that’s always exciting. And I got some pictures that I feel good about. I lucked out and got a cloudy day yesterday too so that helped a lot with the outdoor lighting. (Direct sun is a bummer to take pics in and it’s sunny here MOST of the time.)

I went to a couple stores this week to see if anyone is carrying the new Olympus that I want but nobody has it yet. 🙁 It’s available from a few places online, but even then there seems to be a couple week wait for it. I guess good things come to those who wait.

This weekend we need to bag up our leaves – groan. I’ve already done a couple bags as the leaves began to fall, but now that the big backyard tree is nearly bare I’m sure we have at least 15 more to do.

We might also get out and do something fun outdoorsy since it looks like we have a beautiful couple days (weather-wise) in store.

Tomorrow we’re going a first birthday party for the little girl that I just photographed. That should be fun. I know Ava will enjoy hanging out with all of her friends. 🙂

What’s everyone else doing this weekend? Hope you enjoy yourselves. 🙂

Auntie is in the house

After more than two glorious years without AF (Aunt Flow, aka my period), she’s baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaack.

I have mixed feelings about her return.

On one hand, I’m glad to know that I’m ovulating again, and whenever Jody and I decide that we want to start TTC (trying to conceive) again, I’ll be uh, for lack of a better phrase, primed and ready. 😉

On the other hand, I’ve really enjoyed two years without having to worry about bleeding, pads, tampons, etc.

On the third hand ;), I’m ready to be done with pads and tampons and try out the DivaCup that I’ve heard so much about. LOL I know, it’s pretty weird to be excited about something like that, but you already know I’m a little off. 😉

Between these last two posts, I think I’ve shared more than enough personal information for one day, so I’ll go now. :oP

Oh, poo

Ava was having some naked time in the house the other day (can you already see where this is going?), when she walked up to me with something in her hand. Yep, you guessed it. It was a nice fresh turd. Ewww.

I was so shocked to see poop in her hand (and then mine as she so sweetly handed it to me), it took me a second to figure out what the hell it was.

We immediately flushed Mr. Hanky down the toilet and commenced to some serious hand washing.

Thank goodness she’s such a good sharer. 😉 I can’t imagine if she’d hidden it and left it for my discovery at a later time. *gag*

Fabulous weekend

What a fun, yet super-busy weekend! 🙂

On Saturday morning, Jody, Ava and I drove up into the foothills to check out the park where I planned to take my friend’s maternity photos the next day. I found a couple spots that I liked and took some pics of Ava and Jody.

Saturday afternoon, I went up to the community garden by myself for a few hours to clean up our plots. A friend and her son came up too so we chit-chatted for quite a while. It had been weeks, if not a couple months, since we had time to gab like that.
Saturday evening, Jody, Ava and I went to Target to find some black leggings and a shirt for Ava to wear under her ladybug Halloween costume and we got dog food as well.

On Sunday morning, I had my first real photoshoot! I thought it went very well. The couple was really easy-going, terrific to work with and they looked super cute in their matching clothes for the shoot. 🙂 I took several pictures of them in their matching clothes, then they changed into their comfies for a few more candid shots.
Here’s a link to the proofs if you want to check them out:
Maternity photoshoot

Then Sunday afternoon we met some friends at a farm for a hayride out to all the different vegetable plots where we could pick as many veggies as we could carry. I got 7 pie pumpkins in addition to a bunch of potatoes, cucumbers – Ava loves them, green beans, beets, chili peppers, tomatoes and beautiful Indian corn! There were carrots and some squash as well. It was a pretty fun time and the weather was beautiful, if not almost too hot!

Last night I worked on the photos from the shoot. I’m happy with how they turned out.

So that’s about it. I have to return my friend’s camera to her this week and the thought of going back to my Kodak EasyShare camera is enough to make me want to cry. :oP So I think I’m going to make the investment in a new camera soon. We can’t afford it, but I plan to pursue the photography business and can’t do so until I have a decent camera. Hopefully it will pay for itself! 😉

Not sure how much blogging I’ll be doing this week. I feel like taking a break. Could be because the weather’s been so nice lately, I just want to be outside. Guess we’ll see how it goes.