Friday, December 17, 2010

Josie's first dance recital Part 2

She did much better in this one-though it's a bit disturbing that she unceremoniously dumped her "baby" on the ground. It may not look like a dance routine in the middle-but she actually was doing her "triangles" and arabesques pretty good. Hey-they're only 4! ;)

Josie's First Dance Recital Part 1

Josie had her first dance recital last weekend. The Christmas one is (apparently) a low-key affair at a church hall and the "big" performance is in a high school auditorium this June.

Josie started the class in September-a pre-ballet and pre-tap class for 4-5 yr olds. She has a great time and just watching the class is fun. The mommy's take turns being the "star lady" in class and putting stickers on their folders when they complete a move correctly.

I've been trying to explain what a recital was I knew she didn't understand. She was excited to go-especially since Grandpa Joe, Grandma and Grandma Baker were coming to see her. She hung out with everyone in the audience before the show started and was super-hyped up backstage when the kids were waiting to go on. But she was overwhelmed when they came out and it was dark with the "stage" lit up. So-she didn't do much of her routine. Except at the end when she was the only one to remember to blow a kiss-which she did in the other direction so it's hard to tell what she was doing. When I went back to help her change for the next routine she told me she was scared. Anyway-here's the video of the first one.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Pieces of Josie . . .

Josie and I are VERY lucky to have a wonderful family that both understands my need for "me time" and WANTS very much to spend time with Josie. So, after church on Sundays we head down to Salem to my brother's house where Josie is doted on by their family (they have 3 kids) and she gets to spend the night. Josie has so much fun at their house-they have pretty much every D*sney toy known to mankind as well as the corresponding movies. All of their kids are in a sport of some kind so she gets to go to their games. Somebody's always baking SOMETHING and there are teenagers popping in and out all the time. And they LOVE her-even the 17 yr old boys. They treat her just like the princess she thinks she is! And of course she idolizes my 12 yr old niece and her friends. My 9 yr old nephew alternates playing really well with her and being annoyed by her, which means they are basically siblings! And it's just generally loud and chaotic and very much unlike home. Which is a nice change for her. Uncle Jeff is a surrogate father and she's definitely got him whipped. If I never get married and give Josie a father-Uncle Jeff will be walking her down the aisle. And I'm sure he wouldn't have it any other way . . .

On Mondays-Josie's Aunt Mimi drops her off at my mom's and it used to be that she would drive up to my house and stay the night and watch her on Tuesday. However, she wasn't getting to see my dad very much and my mom really prefers her own bed and instead of Mom calling me every Monday afternoon to ask if she could spend the night down there for various reasons-we just made that the default.

So-I have the house to myself on Sun and Mon nights. I get home in the eve on Sundays and try to clean up the house or just veg if I'm tired. It's a nice break that I really enjoy. Monday nights are a bit harder-I have plenty to keep my busy but when I wind down for the night it's SO quiet and I find myself missing my girl.

Then I look up and see this and it makes me smile. I just love this gallery canvas wrap photo-I put it up on the mantel for now until i figure out how to arrange everything.

And then I'm getting ready for bed and go to turn off the lamp and almost scream.

Can't see it?  Here's a close-up.

Then I go to pull the cord and notice this:

Closer . . .

Wanna know what those are?

Fridge magnets.   This one was Ariel of course!

Everywhere I look there's something strange-Buzz Lightyear wedged under the lid of the piano bench.  A princess crown on top of the lamp by my bed (she has a thing with lamps).  Bracelets and necklaces draped over each bedpost.  Generic Silly bandz wrapped around photo frames:

She's everywhere I look and it's very comforting.  Boy I love the little stinker!

Tuesday, November 09, 2010


Josie is still obsessed with Ariel and wanted to be Ariel for Halloween. Not a problem since she got the costume for her 3rd birthday! I found the wig in with a box of Halloween stuff in the garage-I don't even remember wearing it. It's horribly cut and very cheap-but it kinda looked cool with the costume. She wore the costume all day-church, lunch, Grandma Baker's house, Jeff and Mimi's house, trick-or-treating with her cousins and then to a harvest party at a church. Full day.

All day she would only wear the wig for a few minutes when we first arrived somewhere and then it would come off (don't blame her really)-but when we went out to TorT I told her she had to keep the wig on to get candy. She didn't even try ONCE to take it off! She was so excited-after every house she would yell, "I got candy Mama!" and show me her bucket. We (the adults) called it quits after an hour and got some protest-but they got to go to a harvest party after that so it was all good.

I took these pics at church-she would not hold still-he was dancing all over the room.

This is my "Ariel in the water" pic:

Monday, October 18, 2010

Before and afters!

Sorry to be annoying-but this is the easiest way to show my family and friends these photos!  After getting frustrated with my limited Photoshop skills-I decided to purchase some actions from a photographer I admire-her Florabella collection.  I'm so happy I did-with just one click I can add 10 layers to a photo!  Here's what I've been doing:

Pose 1 before (my editing):

 After Florabella Pandora action:

Pose #2 before (my editing):

 After FB action (Mademoiselle)

Pose 3 before (my B&W conversion)
 After FB Mink action (I can't tell you how much I adore this pic now!):

Pose 4 before (My editing):

After FB action Vintage Wine:

Pose 5 before(my editing):

After FB  retro lollipop action:

 Pose #6 (original raw image):

After FB vintage wine action:

What a difference, huh?  Of course-this is just making my decision for the canvas wrap even more difficult (I'm leaning toward Pose #2 or the B&W Mink Josie now  . . .)  Either way-I'm ordering a lot of prints!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Wanted: New friend with photo editing skillz!

So-I bought a Groupon for a great deal on a canvas wrapped photo but I'm having trouble deciding which photo to pick and am being a total hack in Photoshop Elements. There's a couple good ones of Josie-but I'm loving the ones of both Marina and Josie. I could use some input on which photo to have canvas-wrapped at a 16X20 inch size.  Anyway-I think I'm leaning towards #2-any thoughts or advice?

1.) Love this-did a soft white-light overlay

2.) Same pic with a warming filter

3.)  I was playing with this one-can't seem to get it right . . .

4.)  Again-so close but oversharpened?   I dunno . . .

5.) Probably not a contender for the canvas-wrap-but it's cute. I really like the antique-y look. Also-somehow I added the frame but don't know how I did it!  ;)

6.) B&W

7.)  Probably a bit too out of focus and dark-still a cute shot.

8.) Same with this one . . .

9.)  Just throwing these in-had fun once I learned how to highlight just the eyes or lips to enhance the color a bit.  Filters and overlays are fun!

Monday, October 11, 2010

I can do that . . .

Josie and I were discussing Halloween costumes the other day.  She asked me what I was going to wear for Halloween.

Me: "What do you think I should wear?"

Josie: "A shirt!"

Me:  "Good idea.  I'm pretty sure everyone would appreciate that!"

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Is THAT what she said?

Holy cow-I have to document this before I forget . .  .

On our way home from Josie's first dance class (a WHOLE OTHER post-the cute was so overwhelming i need to recover!) we passed the community garden at the middle school nearby. 

Josie:  "Wow-look at the garden!  Did you see it Mama?"

Me: "Yes-that's a big one isn't it?"

Josie: "That's what the girl said."

NO JOKE!  Is this a coincidence?  Do I have a budding Ellen Degeneres on my hands?  I don't go around making the "That's what she said" jokes-so I have no idea where she got it.

But I am soooo proud!

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Girly Weekend!

A couple of weeks ago-Josie and I spent a weekend at the beach with good friends.  Natalie is the mom to Taylor and Chloe and Shali is Priya's mom.  All three of us used the same adoption agency and ended up following each other's blogs and/or meeting up in Portland for playdates through our agency's yahoo group.  Josie and Priya turned 4 in June (same birthday!) and Taylor and Chloe just had their 4th birthday.  We all had such a good time. The kids were so good-only a few arguments about toys and whatnot but nothing major.

We arrived on a Friday afternoon and headed to the beach-we were worried it was going to be too cold to play in the water but of course, the kids paid no attention to the temperature of the water and were wading in the creek almost immediately.  I dressed Josie in shorts because I KNEW this would happen.  I made fun of Nat for dressing T and C in long white sweatpants because it didn't take long for them to be soaked.  First, she tried rolling them up.  Pretty quick-with the exception of Priya who didn't seem to mind wet pants-the rest of the girls got rid of their pants altogether.  And of course, we didn't think we'd need swimsuits that day.  Oh well.  They had a blast and when we got cold and hungry we decided to head back for a bath and dinner. 

The next day was really foggy and cool.  We bummed around a bit and then hit the outlet stores for a little shopping.  After lunch, the girls watched a movie and Josie promptly fell asleep and didn't wake up.  The other girls hit the pool while i stayed and tried to wake Josie up.  She must've slept for over 3 hours!  The pool was heated (cuz c'mon it IS Oregon here . . .) but by the look on Priya's face in the last pic-it was COLD when you got out!  We ended the evening at a local restaurant so we could get our seafood and chowder fix.  The other girls went to bed early while super-napper Josie hung out with the grown ups until bedtime. 

Sunday the weather was much nicer and we put the girls in suits and snapped a few pics.  We headed back to Fogarty beach and did go on the surf side for a bit but the sand was covered in shells and seaweed.  We saw a seal, watched the waves and then headed back to the creek where the adults didn't have to panic every time a wave hit the shore.  It was beautiful but waves like that take on a different meaning after you have a kid and have to worry about sneaker waves, riptides, and driftwood!  Of course, thanks to Shali-now Nat and I have to worry about STAGNANT BACKWATER.  Yes-the things we learn from a water engineer . . . .

We had a great weekend and can't wait to do it again!  Oh and yes-Nat, Shali and I get a kick out of dressing the girls alike and can you blame us?  The CUTE!  These children are way too adorable.